Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
The court can require your spouse to contribute to your legal expenses. Try to find an attorney who is willing to help you file a motion for temporary attorneys fees. If necessary, you might need to look for an attorney who will help assist you in representing yourself, to keep costs down.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You might need to proceed in Pro Per, with the assistance of your local Superior Court's self-help clinic, unless you can find an attorney to represent or otherwise assist you. If your spouse earns a good living, an attorney might be willing to take your case, either on a Limited-Scope basis to seek an attorney-fee order from the Court before taking your case on a full-service basis, or on a full-service basis from the start. Effective January 1, 2011,as a result of the Elkins Task Force Report to the legislature, changes were made to Family Code Section 2030 to"level the playing field", by facilitating access to counsel by parties early on in the proceedings, requiring courts to make findings as to whether an award for attorney's fees and costs is appropriate, whether there is a disparity in access to funds to retain counsel, and whether one party is able to pay for thelegal representation of both parties. The appellate decision in Marriage of Hatch (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 1213suggested a disparity of earnings analysis, but many trial courts had ignored that decision. Now, Family Code Section 2030 makes attorney's fee awards the standard, and not the exception. The legislative changes were made to equalize litigating power between spouses. This section will likely advance women's rights in divorce proceedings. We need to wait until January 1, 2012 to receive new rules from the California Judicial Council to learn what information is to be submitted to the Court to support requests for attorney's fees. Until then, we can only rely on case law, local Superior Court rules, and our experience with particular judicial officers to guide us. If your spouse earns a significant living, don't give up before trying to find an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your divorce. Even if you can't find an attorney to take your case on a full-service basis, you might be able to find an attorney to take on one or more portions of your case on a Limited-Scope basis, or you might be able to find an attorney to assist you in consultations and preparation of legal documents for you on an Unbundled Services basis.
Answer Applies to: California
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
Some bar associations have a "modest means" panel of attorneys who will handle cases at a reduced rate for low income client who make too much to qualify as indigent. Even then you will have to pay some, probably several hundred dollars at least, but less than the normal going rate.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
The cost of legal representation is often a problem for people. What resources are available to you may depend upon where you are located. For example, I believe that the King County Bar Association has a program to handle a limited number of cases on a reduced fee basis. Also, the Washington State Bar Association is developing a "moderate means" program. This program uses a sliding scale so that people of moderate means can get legal representation at a reduced rate. My advice, therefore, would be to contact both your local (county) bar association and the state bar association to see if there is a program that might be available to you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
It's a tough spot. If you really cannot afford counsel, the local Pro Bono provider is the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, which can be called at 702-386-1070 (or see their information on the web at http://www.lacsn.org/option,com_jcalpro/Itemid,3/extmode,view/extid,15/) . Those that take pro bono cases take them after they have been screened, and assigned, by Legal Aid. The Reduced Fee Panel sponsored by the State Bar can be reached at 702-382-2200. Additionally, there are free consultations offered on Thursdays at the self-help center; volunteer attorneys provide 15-minute consultations, for free, on family law questions. For those that wish to attempt self-representation, forms are available at the Clark County self-help center website, at http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/shc/Supporting%20Documents/self_help_sup portingdocs.html.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
We don't know what you need a lawyer for, or what your resources are. So there's no good way to answer. You may need to combine a variety of things to raise money - borrow from friends and family, use charge cards, have yard sales, sell assets, tighten budgets, etc. If you need a lawyer badly enough, cut the neighbors grass, clean their gutters, etc. I know that doesn't sound easy, but people every day do things like that when they have to. And do shop around. Legal fees vary greatly. Mine, for example, are far lower than many people realize.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
If your income is above the applicable poverty guideline level, there are many attorneys that will take your case for a *reduced* fee - but not for free. The attorneys at legal services are being (under)paid by the state, and they are over-stretched as it is. I don't know any attorneys that would take on a case (especially contested) for free - not even for family. I certainly didn't spend 4 years in college, 3 years in law school, and $200k for an education to do free work. Most attorneys will feel the same way. You will have to pay something or represent yourself.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts