Sacramento Divorce Attorney Alternatives

The average divorce in California costs over $10,000 if there are no children and double that if there are.  The majority of the cost are to pay for attorneys’ fees.  Most people simply cannot afford this (especially with the high cost of living in California).  Fortunately, there are ways to navigate the divorce process without one.

At SD Esquire, we provide affordable uncontested divorce document preparation services to couples. Contact us to learn more. Read on to learn more about Sacramento divorce attorney alternatives.

Do It Yourself Divorce

Many couples chose to complete their own divorce without a lawyer.  When the marriage was short, the couple has few marital assets, there are no children, and the couple is amicable, a DIY divorce is a viable option.  The Sacramento County Superior Court offers workshops for people without attorneys on how to begin a divorce proceeding.  The court requires a reservation to attend one of the workshops.  The court also offers assistance with completing forms and responding to pleadings.

The biggest advantage to a DIY divorce is that it is the cheapest way to obtain a divorce.  However, there are major disadvantages to a DIY divorce.  The divorce process is complex, and learning how to navigate it takes time and patience.  Divorce and property laws are complex, and a person could easily make a mistake that costs him/her thousands of dollars.  There are some situations where hiring an attorney is a necessity.  These include divorces from a narcissist, a spouse who is hiding assets, or when there are domestic violence issues.

Certified Document Preparer

For couples who want to minimize the cost of their divorce, but do not have the time or patience for a DIY the divorce, a certified document preparer is a good alternative.  A certified document preparer can prepare divorce filings and responses for a small fee.  The document preparer’s role is strictly limited to document preparation- he/she cannot answer legal questions or even advise someone on which forms he/she needs.

Limited Scope Attorney

If someone needs more advice than a document preparer can give, he/she may want to hire an attorney for a limited scope representation.  A person may wish to have an attorney review a marital settlement agreement to ensure he/she is getting everything he/she is entitled to.  This option is more expensive a DIY divorce, but it prevents someone from making a costly irreversible error in their settlement agreement.

Mediation/Arbitration

Another alternative to hiring a divorce attorney is mediation.  When a couple goes through mediation, a neutral party, often a retired judge or attorney, will meet with the couple with the goal of coming to an agreement.  Mediation can be expensive, but it is considerably cheaper than a divorce trial.  The downside of mediation is that the goal of mediation is to come to an agreement- any agreement.  This could result in an agreement that is not fair and gets rejected by the courts.  Mediation is not binding, so either spouse might reject the agreement.  If one spouse rejects the agreement, then the couple has spent thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it.  Arbitration is another alternative to a divorce attorney.  The difference between mediation and arbitration is that arbitration is binding.

Avoid Going Into Debt During a California Divorce

SD Esquire Flat Fee Divorce Service

SD Esquire provides flat fee uncontested divorce services. We will prepare the legal documents you need to file for and complete your divorce.  This includes preparing and filling your divorce petition, completing your financial disclsoures, and drafting your marital settlement agreement (MSA). Our uncontested flat fee divorce service starts at $1500 for standard divorce (you are responsible for paying court filling fees).  The fee also includes service of process fees. You can make installment payments as your case progresses. It costs $500 to start your matter. Sign up today to get started.

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