How to Get Free Legal Help in Your State
It’s often assumed that divorce is costly. There’s a reason people make that assumption. But contrary to popular belief, divorce doesn’t have to be a budget buster.
If you’ve decided divorce is right for you, options exist to help you manage the costs. Whether you get advice from a local bar association or obtain legal services from a pro bono service in your area, it’s comforting to know you have options.
Each state has free legal aid options
Every state provides legal aid services to people who can’t afford them. You can find this service in your area by searching for your county and the phrase “legal aid.”
Here are some helpful resources for select states:
No one should have to incur serious debt to get legal help or even go without legal help, just because of finances. That’s the goal of every state’s legal aid service: to make sure citizens have adequate legal representation.
Services are available at free legal aid offices
What services are available to you? While it varies by state and even by county, you can expect to receive help with at least the following at little to no cost:
- Housing rights
- Consumer protection
- Family law, including divorce
- Employment issues
A legal aid office is a great place to look for legal assistance regardless of your specific need. Don’t assume these lawyers are unqualified, either. These are lawyers just like anyone else. They simply enjoy giving back to the community and offer their services to help others.
Some lawyers do this full-time, while others offer just a few hours per week of legal services. This means you could end up working with a divorce lawyer who’s charging you nothing but charges other clients several hundred dollars per hour.
Free legal help: American Bar Association
Besides looking at your individual state or county legal aid service, you can also go to the American Bar Association (ABA) for guidance. The ABA provides free legal help in many areas of the law, including divorce. Not only can they answer some general questions for you, but they can also refer you to divorce lawyers in your area who may provide low-cost or no-cost divorce assistance.
The ABA can help you determine the type of lawyer you need. When you call, you may speak with someone who asks you some pointed questions. They’re not doing this to pry. They’re doing this to make sure they give you referral options for lawyers who can offer you the right support.
While many people think local, don’t forget about the ABA. Many highly respected attorneys in your area are also ABA members.
National Disability Rights Network
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is a nonprofit organization that provides legal services to people with disabilities. If you have a disability, you don’t have to request legal services related to your disability. Divorce services could be offered at low or no cost through attorney referrals from the NDRN.
Another option: Affidavit of Indigency
An Affidavit of Indigency is a form you complete and file with the court. It tells them you cannot afford the court fees related to your divorce case. If your request is approved, you will not have to pay the court filing fees.
This can be vital because, depending on where you live, the cost to file for divorce alone can be several hundred dollars. Getting this fee waived makes divorce a more tenable option for you. The court is not looking to prohibit anyone from getting a divorce simply because they cannot afford to pay court filing fees. If you’re having financial trouble, consider looking into this option.
Hello Divorce’s low-cost options
A great low-cost option is Hello Divorce. Our goal is to provide you with budget-friendly divorce services. At Hello Divorce, we have many affordable plans you can rely on to help you get divorced and start your new life.
The least expensive of these options is the DIY plan. With this plan, you gain access to our divorce software and every form you need to file to complete your divorce in your state.
The DIY plan also instructs you on how to file your divorce petition and how to serve your spouse, both important steps toward getting a divorce. Even if you and your spouse agree on the divorce, you must still follow proper court rules and procedures. Using our DIY plan is the most cost-effective way to make sure you follow those rules and achieve your desired outcome.