I read a recent article in New York about an electrician who was trying to retain a divorce lawyer. He had spent large sums of money with two lawyers and now was at a situation where he couldn’t afford to engage a lawyer as it would cost him several hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to trial. He is now attempting to barter his electrician services out to lawyers in order to get representation.
I thought that was innovative of him to try that approach but in situations like this there is also an opportunity for family lawyers to be innovative and to meet the market.
It is becoming more and more expensive for the Mums and Dads to afford a divorce lawyer especially if one is to fund a lawyer all the way through trial.
In situations where a party has little or no available funds and has to act for themselves (whether it be in a parenting dispute or a property dispute) then people often take two approaches. The first approach that people in this situation take is to ignore their problem and hope it will go away and the second approach is to do it all themselves and maybe get help from a family friend or relative.
There is a third way and that is to see whether your family lawyer is able to assist you from time to time when you act for yourself. For instance, an arrangement can be entered into with your family lawyer that you only pay for short pieces of advice so that they can guide you when you act for yourself. For instance, you may be ordered by the Judge to prepare your own documents and affidavits. Rather than try to do this yourself, why not arrange a short one hour conference with a lawyer and get some ideas about how to prepare the documents and what they should contain. Once you have prepared a draft for the documents then arrange a further chat with your family lawyer to get some advice as to any changes.
Talk to your family lawyer about whether they offer this service. Paying for pieces of advice as you go through the dark tunnel of self-representation will allow you to represent yourself in a better way for a fraction of the price of it would cost you to engage a lawyer full time.