What If I Can’t Afford A Divorce Attorney? A Practical Guide

Divorce can be a stressful and costly process, especially if you and your spouse have a lot of disagreements or complex issues to resolve.

Hiring a divorce attorney can help you protect your rights and interests, but it can also be expensive.

According to some estimates, the average cost of divorce in the US is between $15,000 and $20,000.

If you can’t afford a divorce attorney, you might feel hopeless or helpless.

Stressed Man
Cant afford a Divorce attorney [Photo courtesy of Snappy Living]

Divorce Fee Waiver

If you have a low income and can’t afford to pay the court fees, you might qualify for a divorce fee waiver.

This is a form that you can fill out and submit to the court, requesting that the court waive.

You will need to provide proof of your income and expenses, such as pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, etc.

The court will review your application and decide whether to grant you a fee waiver or not.

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Free Divorce Forms

Another way to save money on your divorce is to obtain free divorce forms from your local court or online sources.

These are standardized forms that you can use to file for divorce on your own, without hiring an attorney.

You will need to fill out the forms with your personal information, such as your name, address, date of marriage, grounds for divorce, etc.

You will need to include information about your property and other issues that need to be resolved in your divorce.

You will then need to file the forms with the court and serve them on your spouse.

Online Divorce Services

If you want to avoid the hassle of filling out and filing the divorce forms yourself, you can use an online divorce service.

These are websites that offer document preparation services for a flat fee.

You will need to answer some questions about your situation online, and the service will generate the divorce forms for you based on your answers.

You will then need to print out the forms and file them with the court.

Some online divorce services also offer additional features, such as mediation, lawyer consultations, negotiation tools, etc.

Divorce Mediation

If you and your spouse have some disagreements about your divorce issues, but are willing to work together to reach a settlement, you can use divorce mediation.

An image of a couple getting divorced
Divorce mediator [Photo courtesy of Family Ties]
This is a process where you and your spouse meet with athird-party mediator, who helps you communicate with each other.

The mediator does not make decisions for you, but rather facilitates the discussion towards a mutually acceptable agreement.

The mediation process is usually faster and cheaper than going to court, and it can also preserve a better relationship between you and your spouse after the divorce.

Legal Aid or Pro Bono Services

If you need legal advice, but can’t afford to hire a private attorney, you might be eligible for legal aid.

These are programs that offer free or low-cost legal help to low-income people who have civil legal problems.

You can find legal aid or pro bono services in your area by contacting your state or local bar association.

However, keep in mind that these programs have limited resources and might not be able to take every case.


Getting a divorce without an attorney is possible, but it is not always easy or advisable.

Depending on your situation, you might face some challenges or risks that could affect your rights and interests in the long run.

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