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So I met with an attorney yesterday JUST to see what my options are as far as the house goes and what were to happen if I decided to take Libby and move back home to give my husband "space" to see what it is he wants.
I cannot believe how much lawyers cost. She gave me an hour consultation for free. But then at the end went on to say it would be $3000 just to retain her as my lawyer, and then $175/hr from here on out.
I don't have that kind of money. I have a good job, and between the two of us we have MAYBE $6000 in savings but $4000 of it is his "education" account from his grandparents, not even in my name. And then we have roughly $2500 in a savings account that is OURS. I can't just deplete that to pay MY lawyer. And she needs the $3000 up front. WTH?
I didn't have any money either, but my father was so desperate to get me and the kids away from dh that he paid my attorney fees. Of course, I will be paying that back one day. Mine was $2000 for an uncontested divorce, and $4000 for contested. We ended up having a contested divorce. My attorney was $250/hr., and she was cheaper than a lot of them around here. It's insane. My divorce ended up costing about $9000. I live in a community property state, and we used that to our advantage in court. Technically, dh was responsible for half of my attorney fees (he did not have an attorney, btw). We offered to assume all debt for the attorney, and he got stuck with all the other bills and car payment, which ended up being more than the attorney fees.
Here, there is also a free legal service available to people who cannot afford an attorney. I know they give out free advice and help direct you in the right direction when doing your own divorce. Do you have anything like that available in your area? That might be a good place to start.
I learned my lesson using a lawyer - which netted me nothing AT ALL but legal fees. I fired him and went on to represent myself after spending time learning Family Law on my own by reading, reading & more reading.
I took the matter back to court alone in July 2008 and had a final custody order Feb 3rd 2009.
I refused to foot the bill to file for a divorce and sat on it until his family & floozy pushed him into filing (and paying the costs) for uncontested. Since he needs to get it over with as fast as possible because they set a wedding date etc before even filing, he knew that if he tried to make me responsible for the debt he caused completely on his own without my knowledge or input, that I would fight tooth & nail to protect myself and the kids - I received my final papers in the mail this week, and the divorce is final as of May 30th
I did my own divorce from my first husband....He kept procrastinating and putting it off and I got tired of waiting, so I typed out the documents myself and paid the $100 filing fee at the court house and the papers were served via sheriff to my ex...he responded (and contested paternity) over our son Emory, so he had a dna test done that he had to pay for, and then take the "children in the middle" class (as did I) and we went to court on October 30th 2007 and the divorce was finalized.
I don't recommend anyone doing their own divorce unless they know what they are doing, or have had some sort of legal advice from someone else, but it can be done. Goodluck.
Try to find one that will work with you on the finances. Mine lowered her retainer knowing that I had 5 kids and was going to school. I paid for it with the money the ex was ordered to pay while waiting for the divorce to be final....and in the end he reimbursed me half the cost.