Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Navigating the Murky Waters of Family Law on a Budget

navigating-the-murky-waters-of-family-law-on-a-budgetOne thing that people realize very quickly when it comes to the law is that getting involved in a legal matter can get very expensive very quickly. Sometimes, your legal opposition will allow the matter to drag on for months and years. This is a situation many agencies count on—they know they can win legal matters through attrition rather than the merits of the case.

Look for Pro Bono Help 

The trick to dealing with family law issues on a budget is to take advantage of the multiple resources that are available. Most large court systems have pro bono or free legal services and clinics for families and individuals who need them. These predominantly tend to focus on family issues with a big focus on child support and family reconciliation. These services are essentially free or low cost for the needy party, and are serviced by licensed attorneys and staff. Many legal offices, such as Ramsden Lawyers, also offer free initial consultations. Even if they can only provide limited assistance, guidance, or document review, any amount of professional legal help is still a tremendous advantage.

Seek Government Assistance 

Low income assistance clinics are available in larger cities with specific attention on family issues, child support, and child representation. There are other offices, such as landlord-tenant help, so it’s important to make sure one finds the right clinic. These resources can offer limited help in filing papers, preparing pleadings, how to read the law, and proper interpretation of government documents.

Negotiate Lower Rates

Many attorneys have a number of regular needs and are open to barter services. For those who need representation and have trade skills like plumbing, electrician skills, professional painting, masonry, carpentry, auto mechanic, flooring and more, it’s possible to negotiation a trade of services. Nothing hurts in asking, and barter is a legal way to pay for services without having to do it in cash. Just remember to make sure the services traded are generally equal or you could have to pay for difference in terms of taxes to the IRS as a benefit received.

The DIY Approach

Though it is technically possible to go it alone legally, doing so is highly risky and inadvisable. The most basic issue is knowledge. To settle almost any legal dispute you need to have a thorough understanding of how the law works. However, more than just knowing the ins and outs of family law for your own case, you also need to understand procedural law. Procedural law dictates how things are filed, how and what kind of evidence is allowed, local court rules for process and more. More cases are lost on procedural grounds than on the merits because of nuances and very small mistakes. So yes, you can carry your own case to save money, but it has a high chance of losing unless you’re an attorney yourself.

There are ways to handle family law needs on a budget. It takes work, creativity, and a willingness to ask for help.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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