If you’ve searched online for a divorce attorney, chances are that you may have encountered organizations advertising “cheap,” “quick,” or “easy” New Jersey divorces. Before you decide to use one of those services, there are a few reasons that you might want to think twice.
Cheap Services Do Not Offer Legal Advice
First things first - getting a cheap divorce means that you will not have the assistance of an attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you will not be receiving legal advice. It is against the law for a non-lawyer to give legal advice.
Chances are, even if your divorce is easy, you still have questions that you will need a skilled, experienced attorney to answer. Your divorce may involve complicated issues such as alimony, child custody, child support, division of property, disposal of retirement assets, or other issues that you did not anticipate. It’s possible that you have rights you didn’t know about, and if those rights are not addressed in your divorce, they could be waived forever. Only a licensed attorney will be able to advise you on those issues. Don’t end up, five years from now, regretting the decisions you made because you didn’t get the advice you needed.
Cheap Services Offer Documents, Not Representation
The New Jersey divorce process is complicated and byzantine. A cheap service may prepare you documents, but they will not represent you throughout the process. It will be up to you to file your documents with the court and, once you do, represent yourself throughout the several months it takes to get a divorce granted. Even a simple divorce takes multiple steps and can be dismissed if the New Jersey Court Rules are not followed precisely. It is not just a matter of mailing in the right paper.
Even if everything is done correctly, most New Jersey courts require an in-person hearing to finalize the divorce. If you are using a cheap service, you will be forced to represent yourself at the hearing. Even the easiest divorces require you to testify. Having skilled representation can take the burden off of your shoulders and ensure that your matter is handled with the utmost care.
If Something Goes Wrong, You are On Your Own
Sometimes, spouses agree to an uncontested divorce, but one or both spouses change their minds before the divorce is finalized. If you are in that position, a cheap service is not going to be any help to you. They cannot tell you if you should amend your complaint or how to respond if your spouse decides to file an answer suddenly asking for things you never agreed to. When you are represented by an experienced divorce attorney, you will have someone skilled and knowledgeable in your corner to assist you when the unexpected happens.
Legal Representation is Affordable
At Fenza Legal Services, I am always transparent about my prices, and I have a number of options for clients to tailor their services to their budget. Most uncontested divorces can be handled on a flat-fee basis so you know how much you will be paying ahead of time. Skilled representation is more expensive than a service that will just fill in your information on a template and send you on your way, but as my clients will attest, it is worth every penny.