Providing attorney prepared legal documents at an affordable price.
I need a divorce but, I can’t afford an attorney.
Divorce can be downright terrifying and for some, it’s an introduction into a whole new world. A world of unbelievable paperwork, numerous filings, and confusing legal mumble jumble. Absent exceptional circumstances, no one who opts for self-representation does so by choice. The sobering reality is that the average person does not have the ability to retain an attorney. In order to retain an attorney, a person must be able to pay up front cost ranging from $1500-$5000. Depending on where a person lives, costs will range between these two figures. And this is just the initial payment. An uncontested divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida costs between $3500 to $8000. For this reason, approximately 70% of all litigants in South Florida are unrepresented by an attorney. People who don’t hire attorneys are not “cheap.” With today’s economy and the shrinking of the middle class, most people cannot afford to hire an attorney. For people facing a custody or timesharing dispute, the idea that they “must go at it alone” is unbearable.
Options…yes, you can afford an attorney!
As a result, many people are opting to use document preparers who can complete divorce forms at low cost, affordable rates. And while this is an attractive option, most document preparers have little or no legal training or experience outside of document preparation. Unlike attorneys, who are certified and regulated by their State bar association, document preparers do not have a certifying or regulating body to check their work. Some competent document preparers routinely prepare sufficient paperwork. However if the other spouse has hired an attorney and the case is contentious, that attorney will in all likelihood pick apart a document preparer’s pleadings due to legal insufficiency. Most importantly, an attorney can provide legal advice whereas a document preparer cannot.
If a party cannot afford the full representation of an attorney, they should search for an attorney who offers unbundled services. Unbundled services are a low cost and affordable option where a client can hire an attorney to provide specific services such as drafting the client’s pleadings to ensure that they meet legal requirements. Unbundled services include:
- Drafting pleadings and motions
- Help with mandatory mediation (all Florida family divorce and timesharing/custody cases require mediation before a temporary or final hearing)
- Legal consultation
South Florida Legal Rescue, LLC offers unbundled document preparation services. An attorney drafts all of your paperwork, but does not serve as your attorney of record. Filings and calendaring are the responsibility of the client. Attorney prepared, document preparation is a fantastic option for those who cannot otherwise afford an attorney. All of SFLR’s document preparation packages include 2 hours of attorney phone or email support and are competitive with prices offered by most document preparers who cannot provide legal advice. With attorney prepared divorce paperwork, a client can rest assured that the paperwork will meet the legal requirements necessary so as not to cause problems in the long run.