How do I pay for court?

 One of the most common questions that I see floating around related to Family Law is how to afford an attorney. A great number of people out there who may be reading this article are having a hard time being able to afford an attorney. This is incredibly harmful, especially since attorneys are one of the most important parts of a strong Child Custody and Support case. Without an attorney to help guide someone through the process, they are likely to get hung up on many of the tiny, complex legal rules that plague people and get cases dismissed. So how does one afford an attorney when they don't have much money?

     A common way for low income families to afford an attorney is by working with Legal Aid. There is a problem with legal aid; they typically will not handle Child Custody and Support cases unless there is a serious harm to the child involved such as abuse or neglect. Without Legal Aid to help, families are forced to look for money elsewhere.

     With that in mind, there are still ways to obtain financing for low income families. The first is litigation financing. There is a growing business out there that provides loans to people looking for help with their case. People need to be cautious of this time of financing, because interest rates can be extremely high. It is likely that any money received from a spousal support case would be entirely consumed by paying down the interest on the loan. This is a last resort option for many people.

     Since loans can be predatory, the next option is to borrow money from close friends or family. This is actually the most common way for people to find money to afford an attorney. They will borrow money from their parents or new significant others to pay for the costs of a divorce and child custody case. Family is the primary means a low income individual should pursue when looking for financing.

     Finally, and a less often pursued route, is to work out a payment plan with the attorney you have decided to represent you. Attorneys are business people, and are often willing to work out payment plans with their clients. Whether an attorney is willing to do this is entirely up to them. In order to take advantage of these payment plans, clients need to be proactive and tell a potential attorney that is the kind of service they are looking for.

     The last thing to consider is how to mitigate costs once you do have an attorney. Bickering is a pocket book's worst enemy. If people are able to negotiate the problems between them, then they will not have to expend so much money on attorneys fees. Although child custody and divorce proceedings can be highly emotional, it is a smart idea to try and put that aside in order to negotiate and reach an agreement.