Do I need a family law attorney?

Asked about 1 year ago - New York, NY

My wife & I agreed on an uncontested divorce & were going to file ourselves (& have started the process ourselves). We have one daughter & have no real assets. She did not want lawyers or mediation, because she said we could not afford one.
Yesterday she fowarded me a name of her lawyer who will be filing her paperwork (financial affidavit, & helping with a parenting plan,etc)
Do I need a lawyer now? I have a low income & cannot afford the large retainers & fees? Any advise?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Marco Caviglia

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Under no circumstance, unless you are a lawyer yourself or similar exceptional situation, should you fail to have a matrimonial attorney review your agreement for accuracy, completeness, and advice as to the hidden effects of language used or omitted. Yes, it's an investment, but saving money now could result in significant losses/liability later. If money is that big an issue, contact the local bar association for mat attorneys who will work for a reduced fee.

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  2. Jill Marie Zuccardy

    Contributor Level 11

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you are determining financial issues and issues of parenting time, and making binding agreements that will live on well into the future, I strongly advise you to see an attorney to review anything before you sign it. Whatever you sign, you need to understand the legal ramifications because you can't undo it later. If you cannot find an attorney on your own, you can call the New York City Association of the Bar and use their Lawyer Referral service.

    * This information is general legal information and is not intended to be advice on your particular case. If you... more
  3. David Ivan Bliven

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . At the least, have the paperwork reviewed by an attorney before you sign anything. It's worth the price of a small conmsultation fee to make sure you're not giving up your rights to anything. Many lawyers give free initial consultations, so schedule an appointment with a NYC Divorce attorney.

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  4. Mary Elizabeth Ramos

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should definitely consult with an attorney to discuss your options and to review the information your wife provided you. Keep in mind that your wife’s attorney will only represent the best interest of her client. That said, there are many attorneys that offer free consultations and many free services to help low income individuals. Below is a list of available free and/or reduced cost legal services.

    Texas Attorney General - Child Support Matters
    1-800-252-8014

    Harris County District Attorney - Protective Orders - Criminal Justice Center (Criminal Courthouse)
    713.755.5888

    Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program (HVLP) Representation in family and general civil legal matters
    713-228-0732

    Lone Star Legal Aid - Family & other civil legal matters
    713-652-0077

    Houston Lawyer Referral Service - For-fee ($) referrals to specialists
    713-237-9429

    Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) - Counseling & legal representation
    713-224-9911

    Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC)
    713-528-2121

    University of Houston Legal Aid Clinic - Civil & family law
    713-743-2094

    South Texas College of Law - Simple divorces
    713-652-0009

    Texas Southern University School of Law Clinic Family, civil, housing, consumer, immigration
    713-313-1139

    Southeast Texas Legal Clinic
    713-523-7852

    -Staff

    The material obtained from this response is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice... more
  5. Ian Zimmerman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I hate to see people handling legal issues themselves. Unless you went to law school, you cannot handle things yourself in court effectively. Please at least consult an attorney on this. It should be relatively cheap and many do it for free.

  6. Christopher Irvin Simser

    Contributor Level 19

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Follow attorney Bliven's advice: at the very least, have an attorney review the paperwork for you.

  7. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Speak with a local divorce lawyer to help you. The fee the attorney charges varies upon the work involved.

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