Prepaid legal services are growing in popularity and are often offered as an employee benefit in the United States. Like insurance, prepaid legal services allow you to pay a set amount monthly to help cover costs for future legal issues. Although minimal help is available through these services, some people try to use them to pay for an uncontested divorce. If you do not think that there will be much for you and your spouse to argue about, you might be considering using prepaid legal services to save money?but think again.
Do You Really Know What You?re Getting?
Using prepaid legal services for divorce is highly discouraged by legal experts. Many complex issues can come up during a divorce such as child custody, child support, alimony, and division of marital property and marital assets. Even if you think you and your spouse agree on these topics, divorce is emotionally charged and things can quickly change.
If the uncontested divorce drags out longer than you thought it would, or your lawyer has to spend extra time reviewing documents, you will burn through your prepaid credits and be left paying for more of your lawyer?s time at the rate they want to charge you. Your prepaid plan may only cover the time it takes the lawyer to finish some of the casework. Then you will be trapped into paying a higher fee for them to complete the job.
There have also been several reports of law firms being hired for prepaid plans that were not actually qualified to handle the tasks they were assigned. They use objectionable selling tactics and some plans have even flagged the attention of state and territorial attorneys general and the Federal Trade commission.
Recommended Legal Options for Divorce
If your plan is an uncontested divorce, it is a much better idea to consult with an experienced attorney who concentrates in Divorce Law. Unlike using prepaid legal services for divorce, you will know exactly what you will get without any surprises in the future. When you hire your own lawyer for divorce, your attorney will be with you from beginning to end and you can feel more confident that your best interests are being protected.
If you and your spouse want to try to work through the divorce without going to court, consult your lawyer about the option of resolving your disputes through mediation. This can provide you with a bit more control over how your divorce case will end, and it is usually less expensive. A mediator can be hired to prepare documents that reflect agreements between you and your spouse. Those documents can then be turned into a court order, sparing you costly litigation fees.
Note: Mediators are certified after 40 hours of mediation training beyond Law School.?If parties independently hire a mediator, that mediator cannot represent either of them in court if the case becomes contested.?All discussions in mediation are confidential regardless of whether the mediation is court-ordered or by agreement.
Divorce is usually a very complicated process. The divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Barbara Sherer will serve as your legal advisors, ensuring that the agreements you reach with your spouse will protect you and your family. We make sure you are thoroughly informed about your legal rights with answers specific to your case.
CONTACT us today to schedule a divorce consultation.