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I need a family attorney that does not charge thousands of dollars in retainer fees. Legal aid won't help.

Charlotte, NC |

Legal aid tells me they only deal in domestic violence cases. I have had spoken with about 5 local attorneys and spent about $1000.00 in consultation fees. I cannot afford the thousands of dollars in fees for representation to get custody of my son back. My credit is bad, so a loan or credit card is out of the question. I am on SS disability, my husband is a contractor and his jobs are not steady. I pay child support through disability that is half of what I net. My parents (who have custody) use that money for an attorney. Any suggestions?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Call your state/county bar association and seek a referral. Unfortunately, like nurses, barbers, and other professionals, lawyers expect to be paid for their efforts and you lack of finances makes taking no retainer a big risk for the attorney. Many offer free consultations, and many attorneys will be willing to work out payment schedules. Also, law schools sometimes run legal clinics that take on cases.

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  2. I definitely agree that you should contact your local bar association to see if they can give you a good referral. If you are veteran, you may consider looking for help through a Veteran's Legal clinic in the area. The previous answer suggesting a law student aid clinic is also a good option.

    I wish you the best of luck.