If you have seen online advertisements or roadside signs advertising incredibly low flat rate fees for divorce services, chances are, what you are seeing is an advertisement from a divorce paralegal. While these divorce services can prove useful in some circumstances, they will not be right for everyone or every case. This is because the services that a divorce paralegal is able to offer are quite different from the services that are offered by a divorce lawyer. Understanding the differences between these two services can help to ensure you get the legal help that is right for your needs when filing for divorce.
Exploring The Services Of A Divorce Paralegal
The most important thing to understand when exploring the services of a divorce paralegal is that while these professionals do have legal training, they are not licensed to practice law. Consequently, the services that these legal professionals can offer will be rather limited.
When filing for divorce, the services that a paralegal can offer will include:
- assistance completing your legal documents
- providing generic information regarding how and where to file your divorce petition
- referring an attorney that is able to help with issues such as child support and custody
Since a divorce paralegal is not licensed to practice law, they are not permitted to refer to themselves as a lawyer or offer their services in the same capacity as a lawyer.
Exploring The Services Of A Divorce Lawyer
While divorce lawyers are able to provide all of the same services as a paralegal, they also have a wide variety of additional services to offer. These services include:
- preparing and filing your divorce documents for you
- representing you in court
- providing legal advice
- addressing issues of support and visitation
- helping you and your spouse to reach a settlement agreement through the use of mediation
While it is true that the services of a divorce lawyer will likely cost considerably more than those of a paralegal, the additional services that come along with this increased fee will often make the investment well worth the return. This is especially true when dealing with a contested divorce since these divorce cases with often require you to appear in court multiple times before the judge will issue a ruling.
Filing for divorce is never an easy thing to do. This process can be stressful, expensive, and time consuming. This is why it is so important to ensure you have the legal help you need to make it through this complex process successfully. By taking the time to carefully compare your specific needs to the services of both a divorce paralegal and a divorce lawyer, like Debbie L. Fong-Uribe PS, you will be able to effectively identify the right professional to help you through your divorce case.