Is there really such a thing as a $500 uncontested divorce? How do I find a REAL lawyer that will do it?

Asked over 1 year ago - Staten Island, NY

I see ads for $500 divorces, but it doesn't look like a real lawyer is involved. Is this something that a lawyer really does - for about $500, or is that unreasonably cheap? Husband and wife, both NYC residents, have already been separated (on their own) for 9+ years, living separate lives. No children, neither has need or desire for spousal support, and both are otherwise friendly to each other. Just need to formalize the arrangement with a divorce. Prefer an office on Staten Island, where both live, hopefully an office that will see and represent both.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Mary Katherine Brown

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    9

    Answered . Sorry, "real" lawyers don't advertise $500 divorces. Real lawyers consult with you first to find out exactly what you want or need (which may be different from what you initially thought because there are things you didn't know you should or could consider), and then they advise you of your options and the costs associated therewith. Good luck!

    Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: marykatherinebrown@... more
  2. David Alexander Browde

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Not legitimately. The filing fees alone will be in the $400 range.

    Under the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in New York it may be necessary to remind you that this answer... more
  3. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I doubt it. It costs $210 to file the case and $95 to get a judge assigned. Then there is the process server's fee.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was... more
  4. Susan Jo Civic

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Cheap divorces like the ads you are seeing are most likely done by paralegals. You give them the information and they fill out the forms but they have only (if you're lucky) a minimal knowledge of the law and they can't give legal advice. They are basically just document preparation services. Most times they just prepare the papers and then YOU have to file them yourself and keep your fingers crossed that the Judge doesn't kick them back for missing information. The paralegal can't give legal advice, the Judge can't give legal advice and the court clerks can't give legal advice so if something doesn't go as planned, you're screwed. I have seen people file papers incorrectly and think they are divorced only to find out years later (usually when they want to remarry) that they aren't. Then they finally hire a lawyer! Also those cheap fees NEVER include the filing fees and process server fees which can cost more than $400 on their own. Some will say "poor person application" but the poor person application has to be approved by the county attorney and it's not guaranteed that you will be granted poor person status. Ultimately, retaining an attorney is the best way to go because included in the legal fee will be legal advice to determine if an uncontested divorce is right for your situation, the lawyer will do all the work for you and you know it will be done correctly. Sometimes the peace of mind is worth the extra cost.

  5. Jeffrey B. Peltz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As my colleagues have pointed out, it's not a good idea to use a paralegal for all of the reasons they have so well stated. In NYC, the filing fees for an uncontested divorce is $343 ($210 for the index number, $125 for the note of issue and $8 for certifying the judgment). My office charges a legal fee of $750 for a divorce on consent with no property/children. Our office is located in Brooklyn and we have completed over 10,000 divorce since 1986. We offer free consultations and have evening and Saturday appointments.

  6. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My office does charge $600 for an uncontested divorce which includes the $335 in filing fees and the rest for the attorney. The ads for $500 normally are just the attorney fees and an additional cost for the court filing fees of $210 for index number and $125 for the note of issue.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate... more
  7. Brad S. Margolis

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Good afternoon:
    You are absolutely right to be concerned , the problem is that many people pay these sums and all the are getting is recycled forms typed by anyone. In order to find a lawyer to do the same for a fair figure is also very difficult as most lawyers do not want to get involved in a case without hire fees being generated.

    My office can offer a solution .

    My website nyLegaLstore.com is lawyer prepared documents custody to your situation but allows you the cost saving for doing the leg work yourself. Even via your ipad.

    BRAD S. MARGOLIS,ESQ.
    NYLEGALSTORE.COM
    BRAD@CNYLAWOFFICE.COM
    NYLAWYER2GO IPHONE/IPAD APP

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Related Topics

Divorce

Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which spouses agree on relevant issues such as division of property, child custody/support, and alimony.

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