Many people are worried about how they will pay for divorce once the process is over. However, most attorneys require money to be paid either up-front and/or during the legal proceeding. The question people ask most often is how they will get the money to hire a divorce lawyer in the first place. There is no set answer and depending on your individual financial needs understanding what route to take to hire an attorney can be confusing.
In most divorces there is an earning disparity between the parties, meaning one party is likely bringing in more income. This often places the party with the higher-earning power in control of the money, making it difficult for the lower-earning party to hire a divorce attorney. Most divorce lawyers require a large retainer to be put down before your case will be taken. This is because Texas does not allow contingency fee divorces. A contingency fee means that an attorney will not get paid unless their client wins their case, but it is not applicable in a divorce case because it is encouraged parties to find an amicable and equitable settlement in divorce cases. As a result, most divorce cases will never set foot in a trial because their case will settle out in a mediation or arbitration before.
Focusing back on how to kick start your divorce, there are several options a person in financial need can turn to if they otherwise cannot afford the initial process of hiring an attorney. It is important to understand and assess your needs because these options can be combined in a variety of ways to fit your needs.
To begin if you have any type of savings or rainy-day fund accounts, affording a divorce attorney may be a quick withdrawal for you. However, if you are like most common people, there is no savings or rainy-day fund to be considered. Therefore, if you are not in imminent need of a divorce attorney, it would be wise to start saving money in case the need ever arises. The goal overall is to not need the savings, but it is better to be over-prepared than underprepared.
Another good method many people utilize is borrowing money from friends, family, or coworkers. Most times many parents are willing to help their child pay for their legal services since their child’s well-being is important to them. It is also not uncommon that siblings, other family members, and even a new significant other would be willing to help pay for the legal services. Although it may not be realistic to borrow from multiple people it is not uncommon for clients to request small sums from multiple family members.
With the increased popularity of crowdfunding, there have been numerous people seeking donations online for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it would not be out of the ordinary to see someone online requesting donations to help fund their divorce. Crowdfunding’s popularity has grown drastically because the internet’s ability to expand its reach across many forums makes it easier for family, friends, and even random strangers to partake in donating. This would mean opening and sharing your marriage experience with your spouse over the internet because most people want a backstory before they will commit to donating. Many crowdfunding campaigns have gone viral, receiving millions in donations, so it is not impossible.
Another measure people turn to when they want fast and easy money is to either apply for a credit card or a personal loan. It would be wise to conduct your research regarding loans and credit cards since there are many types to choose from. However, some trustworthy places to borrow from are banks and credit unions. Next, people have successfully borrowed money from their retirement accounts to help fund their divorce. However, it’s important to remember that in most Texas divorce cases money accumulated in a 401k plan during the marriage is considered marital property. Any money borrowed from the marital property must be accountable for during the divorce. Some plan sponsors or employers don’t require spousal consent for their employees to withdraw or take out a loan from their 401k plan, but most do. Some plans may not even allow loans or withdrawals, which is why it is important to understand your plan before considering this option.
Also, some clients have done cash-out refinance loans on their vehicles to help them afford their divorce attorney. It is important to consider a few things before doing so. For one how much money will you be able to pull out of the car? What interest rates will be offered? It is also important to know that cars are a depreciating asset, losing their value quickly. You could end up in a situation where you will owe more than the car is worth because the loan will still be even as the car continues to lose its value.
If the methods above are not a fit for you it is good to know that some attorneys offer payment plan options to pay for their fees. For example, here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. There are three ways a person can hire an attorney. One, the potential client can pay upfront $10,000 with no monthly recurring payments to fund the legal proceeding. Secondly, they can pay $5,0000 down with recurring $1,000 monthly payments. Lastly, they can work with one of our junior attorneys for $2,500 down with monthly payments of $500. These are very fair fees considering how expensive a divorce can get. There are a few attorneys who might claim they can get your case done for a fixed amount, but you should beware this will not be true in the end if you sacrifice quality over quantity.
Lastly, it is not uncommon for people to sell their valuable property to come up with the money to hire a divorce attorney. Many will sell their wedding and engagement rings just to foot that bill. No orders are saying what can and can’t be done with the property. Meaning you can sell the property to come up with the funds, but after the divorce has been filed it no longer may be done.
If you are stressed with how you will afford to hire a divorce attorney there are many ways you can consider. Exercising any method or combination of these methods will help you reach your goal to fund hiring an attorney. However, if you believe your marriage may be on the brink of divorce, it would be wise to begin preparing for what the future may hold. This can include selling some property or beginning a rainy-day fund account.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.