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Do I need a family law attorney?

New York, NY |
Filed under: Divorce

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. 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 find the information helpful, please let me know by clicking the button!

  2. 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

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

    Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program (HVLP) Representation in family and general civil legal matters

    Lone Star Legal Aid - Family & other civil legal matters

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

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

    Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC)

    University of Houston Legal Aid Clinic - Civil & family law

    South Texas College of Law - Simple divorces

    Texas Southern University School of Law Clinic Family, civil, housing, consumer, immigration

    Southeast Texas Legal Clinic


    The material obtained from this response is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.

  3. 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.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    * If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.

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

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

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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