When you are getting divorced, you have a lot on your mind. You are worried about the expense of an attorney, as well as what’s going to happen with the kids, your assets, etc. You aren’t entirely certain whether you should run out and hire an attorney or if you can handle the divorce on your own. One of the options that you will want to consider is using a paralegal for divorce who is qualified to help in your area. This can be a good choice in many instances. Let’s look at a few of the biggest benefits of working with paralegals for your divorce.
Paralegals Can Help to Bring Down Costs
For starters, we all know that hiring an attorney for your divorce can be expensive. This is especially true if you are relying on the attorney to help with all of the different aspects of your divorce, including handling all of the paperwork.
What you will find is that working with a paralegal has the potential to bring down the costs of your divorce. Most attorneys will have paralegals working at their firm to handle paperwork, documentation, etc., anyway, yet you get charged for the attorney’s work. If you hire a paralegal to help with those things on your own, you only need to engage the services of the attorney for things the paralegal can’t do.
Paralegals Take Care of the Document Preparation
Divorces have a lot of paperwork, which needs to be completed fully and accurately, and it needs to be sent in on time and to the right location. One of the biggest benefits of working with a paralegal is that they can help you with the paperwork. They can explain what it is, what you need to do, and where it needs to go. It will be far easier for you than trying to sort through it all on your own and much less expensive than having it all go through the attorney.
Additionally, if you are just starting to think about divorce and you aren’t sure how you can file, they can help you with filling out and filing this paperwork, as well.
Less Time and Effort on Your Part
Dealing with those important but tedious aspects of your divorce ends up taking a lot of time and energy. You have other things that you have to think about including your kids, your living situation, your finances, etc. It’s easy to get “lost” in the divorce and forget to do things, which could end up causing problems for you later.
You should be focusing on other things that matter. Let the paralegal handle the paperwork and documentation for you. They will make sure you understand everything that needs to be done with the paperwork, so you don’t have to worry about making mistakes or missing due dates.
Now is the time to start getting other aspects of your life in order, so let the paralegals take care of the other elements that you don’t need to worry about.
What Can’t the Paralegal Do?
As helpful and cost-effective as it will be to work with a paralegal for your divorce, you have to realize that they aren’t attorneys. They can’t do the same things that an attorney can do. For example, they are not allowed to present you with legal advice since they don’t have a license to practice law. Additionally, they can’t represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
Still, working with the paralegal for some of the aspects of your divorce mentioned above can help to cut down on your costs. For the things that the paralegal is unable or not allowed to do, there are other options. In some instances, you can handle them yourself. Otherwise, you can work with an attorney and just hire them for certain aspects of the divorce, such as representing you or when you need a bit of legal advice.
When Should You Choose a Paralegal Over an Attorney?
Does this mean that a paralegal should always be the top choice when someone is getting a divorce? Is working with paralegals better than working with an attorney? There’s not a simple answer to this because it all depends on a host of factors. Let’s look at when it is a good idea to work with a paralegal.
You will find that a paralegal will be a great help when you have an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse are both agreeing to the divorce, and you can reach agreements for all of the important parts of the divorce, the paralegal might be the only help you need. Simple divorces like this where couples can agree on the division of assets and other issues are always the goal, but they aren’t always the reality.
Sometimes, the divorce will be somewhat more complicated (or a lot more complicated). There could be children involved and a brewing custody battle that you are going to be fighting with your ex. There might be issues with hidden money, a spouse that wants to drag out the divorce to make life harder for you, and similar problems. In cases like that, the paralegal could still help with all of the paperwork issues, but you will likely need an attorney for the more difficult matters.
Choose the Right Paralegal
Just as you would do with an attorney, you need to vet the experience and reputation of the paralegal before you start to work with them. Learn more about their experience and what they can offer.
If you find that the paralegal is not a good fit, or if they are not doing what they should be doing, you don’t have to keep working with them. You can always look for a different paralegal to help with your case.
If you aren’t able to hire an attorney, but you need to go through the court because you are getting divorced, dealing with custody issues, etc., consider using a paralegal.