Justin M. Crozier
Getting Help on Your Divorce without Hiring an Attorney, in Kansas City, Missouri
As time has gone by, I have noticed a lot of people looking for help on a divorce (or a paternity petition, or any other kind of family law case…) but either don’t have the financial resources to hire an attorney or they don’t want to spend the money on an attorney because they feel the full service isn’t worth it.
Unfortunately for these folks, there is limited information out there to represent themselves and it is hard to get specific advice on their particular situation. Certainly, there are self-representation websites, they have some basic forms, and they have some general pointers, but it often is not enough to really get people through the entire ordeal.
I’ve decided to do a few things in order to help these kinds of people out (maybe you, if you’re reading this). First, I put out these blogs to help guide people on their journey. Second, I have been offering legal coaching for family law cases (such as divorce, modifications, and paternity).
I’ve discussed retainers and hourly rates before, and how these things determine pricing, so you may already know the average retainer on a divorce is $4,500, which of course is not the final price tag on a divorce.
The way it works is like this: you want some guidance from a professional but don’t want to pay several thousand dollars to get the advice you need. Legal coaching lets you buy advice in chunks of time, rather than paying a retainer. For example, you might pay for two or three hours of advice and spread it out in thirty-minute or one hour “chunks” of time. This allows you to get specific help on your case without having to hire an attorney full-time.
“But Justin,” you might be asking, “what on earth can you do in that time to make it worth while to me as a client?!”
Excellent question, most people use their time with me for a few things:
· Getting help determining child support (online calculators suck);
· Learning how to present a few specific pieces of evidence into trial correctly;
· Developing a strategy for how to proceed on their case;
· Reviewing the final judgment that is about to be submitted to a judge;
· Reviewing motions, responses, or discovery requests to make sure they are correctly prepared;
· Discussing caselaw that might impact their case, or what kind of arguments might persuade a specific judge;
· Creating a parenting plan, or property settlement agreement, that will be accepted by the Court;
· And all kinds of other stuff that people want, or just so they can have piece of mind to know they haven’t done something wrong.
“Sounds like a lot,” you might follow up with me, “so what DOESN’T legal coaching include?”
Another excellent question. With legal coaching, I don’t go to Court for you, I don’t file your documents, I don’t negotiate a settlement, I don’t schedule mediation, and I generally don’t do any direct interaction with your case, outside of our conversations and advice. If you want me to help you write up a document, that is fine, but it will be charged against the hours you have paid for of coaching.
I want to be clear, this kind of thing isn’t for everyone. A lot of people want to have an attorney take them through the entire process and make sure that every aspect of the case is handled for them. But there are also people who just want advice, want to ask some questions, want to make sure they aren’t being taken advantage of, and just want some simple guidance.
I’m sure this looks like an ad, which is not what I’m trying to do, but this is something I think a lot of people might be interested in.
Hopefully, I have given you enough information to see if this is something that makes sense for you, and I know that some people are going to have questions about this.
There are a lot of different ways to meet your legal needs, I think this is one of those. It isn’t the most profitable thing for me, but it does help people who don’t need a normal attorney.
Thanks again for reading!
Good luck out there!