How to Get Free or Affordable Legal Help for Single Parents

One of the toughest jobs on the planet is parenting. Add in a divorce or separation, and life gets even harder, more complicated, and a lot more expensive. Not only is there a lot of mental anguish associated with separating from a husband or wife, you now have to work through tons of information, court orders, mediation, and agreements. No one wants to be in this situation, but if it happens, it’s vital to go into it with a qualified divorce lawyer, or at least someone in the legal profession to represent you (pro-bono might be an option as well). Divorce is not easy, and everyone wants to make it as painless as possible, especially in the lives of their children.

In this Low Cost Legal blog, we’re going to look at the challenges single moms and dads face, in finding affordable or free legal help for single parent homes.

The biggest and most important part of a divorce is when children are involved. Establishing custody or co-custody of your children is important if you want to have an equal role in their lives. While the financial aspect of an attorney to represent you may seem daunting at first, you need to know that there are resources and ways to manage this important part of the process. Representing yourself can look appealing, but the odds of winning your position are much better when you are represented by an attorney, especially if your spouse has an attorney that you will be up against.

Imagine going to court representing yourself in divorce, while your former spouse brings legal aid. He or she has come armed with an arsenal of information, knowledge of laws and loopholes, and experience that you are without. Even with the best intentions, it’s near impossible to compete with that, and you will likely be asked to sign a separation agreement, which you shouldn’t without legal representation first. Now turn the situation around. Whether or not your spouse has an attorney, it is absolutely in your best interest to equip yourself with the best resources you can. What if they don’t have an attorney and you do?

So, how do you get started in your search for a low-cost attorney? There are a lot of resources that can help you find the right fit for you. A simple way to start is to contact attorney offices in your area. Most Attorney’s will offer a free consultation, and not only give you valuable information but may take your case at a discounted rate or even Pro-Bono. This is a great way to “shop around” and see which attorney best fits your needs and budget. It is a great idea to check out more than one or two offices, not only to compare the attorneys themselves, but to compare prices and fees. Always ask what costs you might incur during a divorce. Another great resource for finding an attorney is to use the internet. There are countless websites for you to get free consultations, information, and numbers to attorneys who can assist you. Websites like ours, that provide free legal information, are a great way to make connections and while we are not attorneys and can not answer specific legal questions or give legal advice we can help you understand your rights and the proper next steps for you to take.

While hiring an attorney is the best resource you can take to court with you; that is not always an option. Many single parents do not have the funds. Let’s face it, divorce isn’t cheap, and do it yourself divorce, is not always the best solution. If this is the situation you are in, and you decide to represent yourself in court, the best thing you can do is educate yourself to the fullest extent possible. The internet is a great place to help with self-education. Looking for laws and requirements for what you want to achieve.

Most family courts also offer free consultation and help completing legal forms if you do decide to represent yourself. It is important that you take advantage of these services to ensure the best possibility of winning your case. There are many online resources for legal forms as well.

With today’s technology, it is easier than ever to educate yourself and find resources to help you in your case. Family.findlaw.com will not only help you locate an attorney or lawyer to represent you in court, but has legal forms available for download, and offers a place to ask and find answers to many questions you may have. There are also forums you can access to ask advice from your peers, or browse questions others had. This is a great place to get started.

For single dads out there, http://www.divorcedfathersrights.com/ has a state by state outline of laws that might affect you. There are also several resourceful guides to help you learn more about your rights as a single dad, and how you can get, or retain custody of your children.

http://www.attorneys.com/child-custody/custody-rights-the-single-mother/ is an excellent website dedicated to giving single moms advice on different types of laws and cases. Separated into subgroups, it is easy to navigate and find exactly what you’re looking for. There is also the option for a free case evaluation, which can be very beneficial. Additionally, you can ask a question online and have it answered by a lawyer – usually obligation and cost-free.

Another website with plenty of resources is www.familylawrights.net. There is a family case evaluation to help decide where to start and what you need to do. There are free consultations regarding divorce, child custody, visitation, and almost all branches of family law. There is even a blog to look through for additional advice and information.