Engaging the services of divorce paralegals is the way to go if you’re looking for an affordable way to file your divorce papers.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at what divorce paralegals do, the services they offer, and other things to consider before hiring one.
What Does a Divorce Paralegal Do?
A divorce paralegal enjoys a unique interaction with clients facing family law and divorce issues. They enjoy this relationship more than all those participating in other litigation procedures. These professionals listen to their client’s struggles and family issues and closely evaluate and think deeply about the dynamics between the separated, divorced or divorcing client/couple.
Oftentimes, this paralegal has the most incredible insight into the interests to focus on first and the suitable approaches to implement to move the clients’ cases to resolution. They know the correct defense positions that can effectively unburden the client of their emotions.
Aside from this, a divorce paralegal has unparalleled access to and influence over their supervising lawyers. They also influence their judgments relating to how to move their client’s cases to resolution.
Divorce Paralegals Definition
A divorce paralegal refers to an attorney assistant. In some cases, these paralegals work under the supervision of divorce attorneys. Others work independently, but this depends on their training, education, or personal experiences.
It is worth noting that paralegals cannot offer legal advice throughout the litigation process, because they lack the license required to engage in legal practice. Legal counseling is a task performed primarily by licensed attorneys. Therefore, adding an attorney to your professional team is the step to take if you plan to seek legal advice.
Also, don’t expect a divorce paralegal to go to court on your behalf if your divorce case heads to trial.
Can a Paralegal File Divorce Papers?
Yes, a paralegal can legally file divorce papers for you. They prepare various documents, such as demands for notice, cohabitation agreements, divorce judgment, transfer of land, support agreements, consent orders, separation agreements, parenting agreements, counterclaims for divorce, prenuptial agreements and more.
A paralegal provides typing services that can save much of your time and hard-earned money, but you have to be careful to choose highly experienced and adequately-trained divorce paralegals for this service. Completing divorce documents is a challenging task – which is an apparent reason why judges or courts revoke the documents in other cases.
Divorce Paralegal Services
A paralegal delivers various affordable divorce services, some of which include:
Paralegal Help Filing Divorce Papers
The preparation of legal documents tops the list of divorce paralegal services. A paralegal can help fill separation/divorce papers and documents related to the children’s legal custody, property division and more.
Other services that paralegals can offer focus on discovery packages and disclosure statements relating to divorce/separation proceedings. The divorce paperwork may also involve several documents and judgments, among others. A divorce paralegal can help you to file all relevant paperwork.
Legal Assistants for Divorce
Divorce paralegals also work as legal assistants for lawyers in court proceedings. They assist lawyers and prepare trial notebooks in the divorce court to ensure that the trial runs smoothly. These professionals assist the lawyers in keeping things on track while handling divorce cases and delivering relevant information so that the process can run smoothly and without complications.
Undertaking Legal Research as Assigned by the Lawyer
Aside from assisting the divorce lawyer with the necessary paperwork to complete the divorce process, a divorce paralegal can also carry out legal research relating to divorce cases.
They perform this task under the attorney’s supervision. With this research, the lawyers can start a court case about the property division, child custody and more issues impacting the clients.
Handling Client Interviews
Mostly, paralegals for divorce cases may spend much of their time interviewing the client. In these interviews, the paralegals collect information relating to the client’s views about the separation/divorce and court case objectives. They may also gather more information needed for the separation/divorce case to run smoothly.
For divorce cases, client interviews form an essential part in the drafting and preparation of documents and papers filed with the court. Clients have the duty to disclose their goals relating to spousal support, property division, visitation and child custody for the case to run smoothly. With the client interviews, the legal team and paralegals can quickly identify the issues that may occur to change the situation outcomes or prevent untoward results.
Moreover, paralegals act as liaisons between the clients and the lawyers. In this capacity, they give the lawyers enough time to work on the divorce cases and handle court challenges.
Scheduling Court Dates and Appointments
Organizing divorce cases is another paralegals’ pivotal role. They set up client appointments and ensure the clients appear in court proceedings. These professionals also assist lawyers throughout the mediation hearing process.
The legal assistant for divorce ensures each schedule lines up. They file out appropriate divorce papers to ensure everything runs as per the court hearing and date standards. Through this, the divorce process will run smoothly even in emotionally-charged situations.
Guide on How To Submit Divorce Forms
After preparing divorce forms, a divorce paralegal will guide you on how to submit the papers to the court. They will teach you how to file the divorce forms with court clerks to start the legal process. Aside from this, legal assistants for divorce deliver information relating to establishing hearings and a temporary hearing for spousal support and child support.
Direct on How To Serve Divorce Papers to the Spouse
You should follow specific steps when serving your spouse with forms and other documents, and you need to ensure that the documents are served within 120 days after filing them. With the help of a divorce paralegal, you’ll learn how to file divorce papers and how to prepare yourself during the legal process. Besides this, a paralegal will also make it easy for you to access proof of service.
Help in Filling Out Alimony Requests and Child Support Requests
With the assistance of divorce paralegals, you’ll find it easy to fill out alimony and child support appeals. To add, a paralegal helping you fill out divorce papers will save you much time and effort. However, don’t expect a paralegal to inform you of the specific amount to request or if you qualify for a particular amount. These professionals can only help you complete documentation and adjust those papers later on.
Take You Through the Divorce Process
Hiring a legal assistant is a necessary step if you want to get more information about the legal process. With a divorce paralegal, you’ll learn about the various steps of the legal process and what happens in each step.
In general, a divorce paralegal helps with divorce and divorce matters involving challenging situations. They work hand in hand with their respective clients to understand their concerns and identify their goals. They prepare trial notebooks and paperwork, making it easy for the court case to run appropriately.
What to Check When Hiring Paralegals For Divorce
First, check the professional background and experience of a divorce paralegal before engaging the services of one. Remember, you’ll need the professional’s services for a more extended period. This can help you choose the divorce paralegal with the sufficient expertise and proper attitude that you need when filing divorce papers.
Second, evaluate the paralegal’s commitment to identifying the information relating to your situation. Assess their customer skills and how they respond to your email messages and phone calls. Never underestimate the pivotal role played by their office space cleanliness and staff friendliness.
Next, consider hiring a divorce paralegal, officially certified by an accredited association/program. Some of the accredited associations include those validated by the American Bar Association or other organizations. Also, you can consider paralegals with official certification in their field, but this will depend on the state’s rules/regulations.
Consider a paralegal specializing in divorce cases or other family issues instead of paralegals with experience in other legal areas. Also, you can use family and friend referrals to find the right divorce paralegal.
Other Things To Consider
Know the Roles a Paralegal Plays
You’ll make your divorce process much easier if you research the roles of a paralegal before hiring one. Remember, a divorce paralegal refers to a professional with special training who performs all duties assigned by a licensed attorney. However, not all paralegals receive direction from attorneys — paralegals can also work independently.
A divorce paralegal should possess in-depth knowledge about the legal process, law and legal matters. When choosing a legal assistant for your divorce process, consider the ones with at least three years of experience preparing and filing divorce papers.
Consider the paralegal’s limits before hiring one. Here, evaluate the tasks a paralegal can perform and the ones they cannot handle. In this case, a paralegal can draft divorce papers and update you on where to file the forms.
Paralegals don’t practice law. Therefore, don’t expect a divorce paralegal to advise you legally or attend court hearings on your behalf. A paralegal will not give legal answers, even if the questions relate to the divorce forms.
Difficulty of Divorce
Consider hiring a divorce paralegal if you have an uncontested, friendly and straightforward divorce case. However, a divorce paralegal may not be the perfect choice if your divorce involves court hearings, child custody matters and complex property distribution.
For the cost, you have three options to consider: solving the divorce issue yourself, hiring an attorney or hiring a paralegal.
The cheapest option is if you decide to solve the divorce issue yourself. However, be prepared to set aside much of your time to learn the law and complete the divorce papers yourself. This choice is the perfect one if the divorcing couple can solve all issues amicably.
Hiring an attorney yields excellent results, but it’s the most expensive one. With an attorney, you can get professional legal services and advice. Finally, hiring a paralegal is the way to go if you’re after an affordable method.
Make an Effective Decision
Ensure you know a divorce paralegal, divorce paralegal services, and the amount you need before making a reliable decision. The best divorce paralegal must help you meet all your divorce needs.
Is a Divorce Paralegal the Right Option for You?
A divorce paralegal assists an attorney. The law requires these legal professionals to work under the supervision of a licensed attorney, so they are not allowed to offer advice or deliver legal counsel during the divorce process. If you need these services, then you should consider hiring a licensed attorney. In addition, don’t expect a divorce paralegal to attend court hearings if your divorce case heads to trial.
The divorce paralegals work with attorneys to help you in preparing the appropriate divorce forms. The best paralegal must have the necessary documents to prepare and fill them out as required. Because these professionals work under an attorney’s supervision, an attorney will go through the divorce papers before forwarding them to you to fill them correctly.
When To Hire a Paralegal for a Divorce
Hiring a divorce paralegal is the right choice if you want your divorce process to run smoothly without devoting too much time to research legal rules and processes. When you hire a divorce paralegal, you’ll get the necessary support if your divorce is a relatively simple one. You’re likely to enjoy maximum benefits from divorce paralegals if you don’t have property or have only a little, don’t have children, and have few debts.
By hiring a divorce paralegal, you will reduce divorce costs compared to hiring a divorce attorney. These costs are reduced because a divorce paralegal does not attend court hearings on your behalf or give legal advice.
- Every divorce case features unique situations and people. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to predict how the divorce process will run.
- If you plan to hire a divorce paralegal, then that’s the right path to follow. With a paralegal, you can save much of your time and hard-earned money, especially if you’re amicable.
- Ensure you choose a certified divorce paralegal every time you look for a professional assistant for your divorce issues.
- Always request to address the supervising attorney whenever you call a divorce paralegal directly.
- It’s the attorney you should address every time you need legal help with divorce.
- Always prioritize hiring divorce paralegals that are working under the supervision of attorneys.
With the necessary guidance and proper research, it’ll become easy to choose a divorce paralegal who can offer excellent divorce paralegal services, file divorce papers for you, and perform several other tasks. The best paralegal for your divorce can guide you through the legal process on-time, stress-free and cost-effectively.
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