Can’t afford a lawyer? Think again.
I spoke to a woman yesterday that read my blog and had a question. Unlike most of the people that call me, she was not prepared to hire a lawyer because she couldn’t afford it. This thinking is interesting for several reasons. First, she doesn’t work for free but for some reason, she thinks I do! I cannot give free legal advice in the same way you don’t call a plumber to have him teach you how to fix your problem on your own for free.
More importantly though is that this was a total assumption on her part without any real consideration as to the true cost of going with an attorney. When I asked her how much other lawyers charged her, she said she didn’t speak to anyone who actually quoted her a fee. However, her divorce cost tens of thousands of dollars so she assumes a simple motion will be the same price. Not quite.
Even after I explained to her that it would cost much less to handle this simple motion, she still said she didn’t have the money even though she had plenty of room on her credit cards. I then asked her to consider the true cost of going without a lawyer.
Her ex-husband filed a motion to emancipate her daughter and there is no way (in my opinion) that she should have lost this motion. However, she went without a lawyer and her ex had one. Guess who won? Now she wants to file another motion and she thins for some reason, the result will be different as she still refuses to retain a lawyer.
Her daughter will start college in January. So you have child support, college expenses and medical expenses for at least four years that will not be received. This could add up to over $100,000 that she would have received. So if you can’t afford a few thousand for a lawyer, how will you afford over 50 times that?