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Divorce/Separation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: How on earth do people afford attorneys?
doggiediva
♀ Member
Member # 33806
Default  Posted: 11:01 AM, October 18th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have not filed yet, I am a financially disadvantaged retiree who is gonna have a big fight/nasty divorce on her hands..I am not quite ready, still getting my ducks in a row..

My state is a no fault state with equitable division..

The retainer for a L in the county and community where I live in is typically $1500.00-2500.00..

In our state, on the day the lawyer files the petition for D with the court clerk, the clock starts ticking.. We have a 6 week waiting period before the D can be signed off as final by the judge..

If the D is uncontested with little fighting, and if the lawyers are not crooks, than the retainer fee covers the entire cost of the uncontested divorce..

[This message edited by doggiediva at 11:07 AM, October 18th (Friday)]


Don't tie your happiness to the tail of somebody else's kite

Posts: 1136 | Registered: Nov 2011
sparkysable
♀ Member
Member # 3703
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, October 18th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I got a few quotes of $1500-$2000 retainers.

I then went to the Legal Aid Bureau and applied to them. They don't take every case, but my cousin had just used them for her divorce, and she put a good word in to her Legal Aid lawyer for me. I had 2 lawyers, they were awesome. The whole thing cost me $37.50 for the process server. Everything else was free.


D-day OW#1 2/2004; R for 6 years; D-day OW#2 5/2010

Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.


Posts: 3193 | Registered: Mar 2004 | From: NY
SuperDuperWonderboy
♂ Member
Member # 34716
Default  Posted: 1:10 PM, October 18th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

One thing we definitely agreed on was that lawyers are greedy and it was well worth it to avoid paying our hard earned money to them.

Sigh. Not all lawyers are greedy. Many of us do lots of pro bono work, or take low paying public service jobs. Just saying.

[This message edited by SuperDuperWonderboy at 1:12 PM, October 18th (Friday)]


My Friends call me Wonderboy--That's Mr. SuperduperWonderboy to you Tred.


Posts: 1272 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Everett
ajsmom
♀ Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, October 18th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

One thing we definitely agreed on was that lawyers are greedy and it was well worth it to avoid paying our hard earned money to them.

If the D is uncontested with little fighting, and if the lawyers are not crooks

Always makes me chuckle when people slam lawyers.

Until they really need a really good one.


AJ's MOM


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21032 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
sudra
♀ Member
Member # 30143
Default  Posted: 2:03 PM, October 18th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

One thing we definitely agreed on was that lawyers are greedy

Yes, lawyers are all greedy. They are all the same. They are bad.

Stereotype much??? Why is it always okay to slam all lawyers??

Sorry for the t/j but I get really sick of people slamming lawyers and go unchallenged.



Me (BW) (54), Him(SAWH) (57)
Married 21 years, 1 son (19), 1 stepdaughter (27)
DDay #1 January 2004
DDay #2 7-27-2010 7 month EA/PA (became "engaged" to OW before he told me he wanted a divorce)
Working on R

Posts: 1429 | Registered: Nov 2010
doggiediva
♀ Member
Member # 33806
Default  Posted: 1:20 AM, October 19th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I didn't mean to slam lawyers but I sure came across that way..I apologize..I have a couple of lawyers in my family..

I do feel that lawyers, like counselors, doctors, plumbers vary in their ability, their price and their integrity...

If one is contemplating D it is good to know the reasonable and usual cost of a retainer for D in one's community..


Don't tie your happiness to the tail of somebody else's kite

Posts: 1136 | Registered: Nov 2011
summerain
♀ Member
Member # 37439
Default  Posted: 1:48 AM, October 19th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sigh. Not all lawyers are greedy. Many of us do lots of pro bono work, or take low paying public service jobs. Just saying.

T/j I think that I needed that back to earth. My one experience was asking for a lawyer to represent me to get a DV order renewed by my mother. $10,000 I almost fainted. That was with mates rates too as I knew the owner of the law firm.

Also the lawyer who represented my mother was an arsehole who laughed the whole time.

So thanks, I've had this unnatural hatred of lawyers ever since. It's good to be reminded that there are good ones out there that genuinely care. And I'm not being sarcastic


OW1 inadvertently let me know WH loves English breakfast tea. Never ever saw him drink it. And I never will.

Posts: 818 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Australia
Blackhair
♀ Member
Member # 39451
Sad  Posted: 6:52 AM, October 19th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In Canada where I live it is more expensive, I interviewed 4 lawyers cost $2000. Yes rate is $500/ hour. We draft SA with a cheap lawyer who cost me $3500, WS keep on delaying final signing it, so I filed for divorce with another lawyer, 2-3 days meetings, paper work and serve WS cost me $2700, my first bill, almost $10,000 for me, average divorce here cost $50,000 and above, thank goodness it is all signed till yesterday.

I am legally separated now. YAaahhhh very happy but extremely SAD!


M: 10 years
DD:5 DS Twin: 2 yrs old
DDay: Earlier 2013, WS flew/met many times with a Philippine girl found online (20 yrs younger)
SA finalized 6 months after DD. divorcing...
I am determined to fly even with broken wings and a broken heart!

Posts: 163 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Canada
doggiediva
♀ Member
Member # 33806
Default  Posted: 10:03 AM, October 19th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

D costing 50 K, wow!..I know some divorces cost that much here in the US as well...I am gonna have to educate myself on how to get Legal Aid..My fear isn't just the legal/court costs involved, but also a D settlement that causes me to lose half of my meager income..WH pretends to be too crippled to work and complains that he has no income to his name except his unemployment benefits..With that being said I suspect he brings in a little more in income with his unemployment benefits than I do in pension..


Don't tie your happiness to the tail of somebody else's kite

Posts: 1136 | Registered: Nov 2011
Jeaniegirl
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Member # 6370
Default  Posted: 10:24 AM, October 19th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Lawyer here.

Legal Aid is income based so not everyone qualifies. There are divorce services that work so well when there is an agreement between both parties. Average fee is around $250. Paralegals do the paperwork and file but this usually works well if both parties come to an agreement prior to filing.


"Because I deserve better"

Posts: 925 | Registered: Feb 2005
statistic
♀ Member
Member # 39192
Default  Posted: 11:29 AM, October 19th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the info. I'm leaning towards a large loan. I want a great lawyer because an infant is involved.

We have two properties, one of neither of us can afford on our own. My understanding is that we will need to refinance the homes we expect to keep on our own.

How did you go about locating good lawyers? Word of mouth? Is there a certain rating or license I should look for?


Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing.

~~Tao Te Ching


Posts: 147 | Registered: May 2013 | From: United States
fireproof
♀ Member
Member # 36126
Default  Posted: 11:42 AM, October 19th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would go to super lawyers.com and look at the lawyers in your area. Look only at Family Law. Try to get someone who has been on the list multiple times. Interview one to three before paying the retainer.

If needed once you decide ask for a payment plan. If they are good they will try for mediation first rarely do the cases make it to actual court.

Mediation didn't work but then we tried again and threatened court and it worked out.

Think about your ideal situation and pick the attorney who you think can get close to your ideal list.

Try when your credit is good to open a credit card or two with 0% as backup.

It might be short or it might be long. Pick your 2 points that are non negotiable.

The mediator was setup by my lawyer and his lawyer. A good attorney will try to find a settlement then mediate then try then if all else fails go to court.

Stay strong- drink water and sleep. Tell your family for a whole you can't help financially. Be good to yourself!


Posts: 874 | Registered: Jul 2012
doggiediva
♀ Member
Member # 33806
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, October 19th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I wonder if the legal aid looks at the income made as a couple or just the income of the party filing for the divorce..
My income is around 23 K a year..

I would give my eyeteeth to have a WH that would not try to take me to the cleaners.

I know that D gets more expensive when either or both parties are fighting and won't come to an agreement..


Don't tie your happiness to the tail of somebody else's kite

Posts: 1136 | Registered: Nov 2011
sparkysable
♀ Member
Member # 3703
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, October 20th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I wonder if the legal aid looks at the income made as a couple or just the income of the party filing for the divorce..
For me it was my income only.

My income is around 23 K a year..
They looked at my tax returns, and although I had made more than this the previous tax year,(I had been a teacher, and I was laid off) they took into consideration what my CURRENT pay was, so I qualified based on my unemployment, which at the time was around $350/week. Wherever you live, I'm sure they have their own income scale which may vary. But just to give you an idea.


D-day OW#1 2/2004; R for 6 years; D-day OW#2 5/2010

Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.


Posts: 3193 | Registered: Mar 2004 | From: NY
Thefly559
♂ Member
Member # 40268
Default  Posted: 5:43 PM, October 20th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Finding a good lawyer is a crap shoot . I have hired numerous lawyers in my lifetime and so has my immediate family. You never really know , my opinion is that it is like anything else you have to go with your gut. I had 4 consults before picking one. They all told me the worst except one , he told me the worst and the best! I went with him. So far so good but in the end I think most are vulchars.


"what does not kill you , makes you stronger"

Posts: 611 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: nyc
lifestoshort
♀ Member
Member # 18442
Default  Posted: 7:06 PM, October 20th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

my last was a pro-se so it only cost me $350 or less cause I got a house appraisal.we also had a child! I fought for full custody and won. no trial.

we had a lot of fighting to do to get it done and it took a yr and a half to get it over. BUT it worked.

my ex now and I, he's out for revenge and wants all my stuff prior to marriage as well as animals. we've been married under a yr. I filed already and got it done free due to making so little money. I will have to get a lawyer for the hearing prior to divorce. I know I can use a charge card or ask for a lower fee if I do some of the work myself (like printing forms when needed and filling them out)


6/07 EX had several Emotional/sexual A
FALSE Reconciles. cheats again. D 5/09
2013- 10 month marriage &D to friend. he was a lyin, freeloadn biploar mess.
NOW? Living my life and loving it.


Posts: 677 | Registered: Mar 2008
lifestoshort
♀ Member
Member # 18442
Default  Posted: 7:31 PM, October 20th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"I then went to the Legal Aid Bureau and applied to them. They don't take every case, but my cousin had just used them for her divorce, and she put a good word in to her Legal Aid lawyer for me. I had 2 lawyers, they were awesome. The whole thing cost me $37.50 for the process server. Everything else was free."

Lucky you!! we have no legal aid that will help unless you are battered. I have called a couple times, as well as a friends :(
I do believe they go off one persons income tho.


6/07 EX had several Emotional/sexual A
FALSE Reconciles. cheats again. D 5/09
2013- 10 month marriage &D to friend. he was a lyin, freeloadn biploar mess.
NOW? Living my life and loving it.


Posts: 677 | Registered: Mar 2008
careerlady
♀ Member
Member # 16958
Default  Posted: 12:25 AM, October 28th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just had a bad experience with a family lawyer and a different issue. I did consult with a lawyer months ago and she went over the petition with me and advised I could likely file my own petition. Then see what he responds. If he doesn't respond in 30 days I get what I want by default and don't need a lawyer. If he responds and it's contested I will probably need one. I'm fully expecting him to turn into a monster once served but I'm hoping good ol procrastination will save me. I've thought of representing myself since I basically could have done what the last family lawyer did for me (which felt like nothing). My best friend has spent 8k halfway through her divorce. I'm not going to say all lawyers are crooks but I will say my recent experience made me realize why do many people hate them. I was asked to provide letters of reference (the more the better) and got charged $75 each for her to review them and give them to the judge. She nickel and dimed me to death!


Me (BS, 35); The Snake (WS, 36) 13yrs together; 1 baby boy (DOB 7/12)
Serial cheater-Multiple OWs, Multiple D-Days
D by default 5/3/14!
In house 8 mos, moved out 7/1!!!
Summary: http://youtu.be/iaysTVcounI

Posts: 935 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Northern California
forlornheart
♀ Member
Member # 40726
Default  Posted: 7:18 AM, October 28th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm in the same boat. I've been a disabled mom for half our marriage. He's a temperamental jerk who frequently gets fired and needs to find a new job. He's ruined my credit, I'm not sure how I will ever repair it.

That said, I'm going to borrow the money from family, ask for attorney and court costs to be paid by him. I'll ask for spousal and child support.

Collecting will be a nightmare at times but before I was disabled I worked for the courts....I know how to collect. Plus if he doesn't pay the CS he goes to jail. That will motivate him to work harder.

My life is going to be difficult. Harder than if I stayed. We have so little so it's not as if I'll make out on the divorce.

But I just can't disrespect myself any longer by staying. Plus my children were the ones to first discover this affair. What would I be teaching them if I stayed? It would not send a good message to any of my 4 daughters if I stay with him.

Gotta bite the bullet and hope for the best.

Hugs!
Deb


Me: 48- BW
Him: 45-WH-chronic cheater, PA and EA
Current Her: Mid to late 30's fatassed, no necked, troglodyte
D Day: August 23, 2013
Separated: August 23, 2013


Posts: 52 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Michigan
mychild
♀ Member
Member # 40186
Default  Posted: 9:49 AM, November 19th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You are correct.

Not all lawyers are shit or whatever.

Just the ones that I have dealt with.

My cheater and I have had such horrible lawyers that I told him before I found out he was such a cheater that he should become a lawyer, hence he is now almost a lawyer - still in night school. Uggh. I made my fuckhead cheater become a lawyer so that he can fight me for free.

But anyway - the lawyers I have dealt with have all been very expensive and very incompetent. I love that we pay lawyers to do homework... I don't pay my doctor to do homework. But I pay lawyers to do homework and then it takes them months to find out that they just can't do their homework well and I'm out over $100,000.00. Yes.

I have had the unpleasure of dealing with 3 lawyer groups over the last 5 years. My mother just passed and I even got a lawyer in another state. Same story. Wrong advice, I end up paying.


All the lawyers I've ever dealt with were fuck heads and now I am married to a fuck head who is becoming a lawyer.

I am sure there are good lawyers.

Under rocks.

No, but really. I'm sure there is one or 2 good lawyers.

And yes, we hate lawyers or make fun of them. There is a fucking reason for this! How many people have good experiences with lawyers? How many people go to lawyers because they don't need them? Most of the time if you are going to a lawyer it's because you have to because the government has made it that you have to - you have no choice, or someone is raking you over the coals. So you need a lawyer.

I used to work with lawyers also - through another company that helped lawyers. I was always amazed at their gigantic bills they would bill people. I helped with their billings. And really, when people say lawyers will charge you for paper clips, I believe it.

Plus, lawyers have a lot of bills. Large offices, a lot of employees, mistresses - I mean come on, they have to pay for it some how.

But anyway, my child will soon have a lawyer as a father. I hate him, but I want my child to also to become a lawyer. So yes, I believe most lawyers are incompetent and not ethical in their billing. I will be working with my WS (unless we divorce) to make sure he is competent and ethical and that he does not over bill - for things like mistakes or bad homework. And I will make sure my child learns ethics and becomes an amazingly brilliant lawyer. Something we need a lot more of.

Yes, a rant. Because I have worked with a lot of lawyers and have had very bad/incompetent cases with them and spent our savings on one law firm. Again, there are very good reasons lawyers have such bad reputations. Like prostitutes do. But he shit happens.

[This message edited by mychild at 9:53 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 80 | Registered: Aug 2013
Topic Posts: 43
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