What to do when you have no money to get a lawyer

JeanInWaNovember 20, 2005

I've been a GardenWeb member for quite a while, and well, I wish this site had been free and available to me when I really really really needed it.

I left my husband of 24 years 2 years ago.

I really don't want to go into details, lets just say I had to leave to survive.

I haven't taken any legal action. After 2 years, can I call it legally seperated? Or do I have to hire a lawyer (with money I don't have).

How do people with no money get things sorted out?

I've just kind of been living day to day.

Jean

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centralcacyclist

I imagine you are still married, plain and simple, unless you have filed some documents but I'm sure this varies from state to state. You need to speak with an attorney. Call around. You might find one that will do a consult for a small fee, maybe 100-150.00. You might get lucky and find one that will give you a free consult. It will at least let you know where you stand and show you your options. The other option is to use a paralegal service that does simple divorces, wills, separations, etc. Check your local yellow pages.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 8:06PM
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JeanInWa

Thanks BarnMom

I guess I'm still married then...

When I read your "small" fee of 100-150 I gulped. See, that's why I haven't done anything.

thanks
Jean

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 8:24PM
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centralcacyclist

Is there anyway you can get your quasi-ex to take initiative and file?

There are also do-it-your self divorce packets for an uncomplicated, uncontested divorce. If you don't have to divide property or aren't going to argue about it, this might work. There will still be court filing fees, though.

http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/forms_instruct/index.cfm

Cut and paste the link above. It might help to look at the instructions there. I see that you are in WA from your profile. I wish you the best.

Here is a link that might be useful: Do-It-Yourself Divorce

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 9:02PM
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centralcacyclist

I did a quick search, it looks like filing fees might be waived if you can't pay. Take a look.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fee info.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 9:09PM
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JeanInWa

Nope, there is NO WAY he would do anything. He's mentally ill, lives on 7 acres of property that his father "gifted" to him, lives in the house that we built together over 20 years ago that was never inspected or had permits for, was never on the property taxes etc. If I open THAT can of worms, I think I'll regret it.

I pretty much walked away with my clothes.

I bookmarked the sites you linked to. I can't thank you enough. I will certainly look into them deeper.

Jean

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 11:00PM
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sylviatexas1

Dallas Bar Association has a Lawyer Referral Service, & I bet most other local bar associations do, too.

Call & explain what type of legal problem you have, & they refer you to an attorney in your area (well, as close as possible) for a fee of $20 for the first half hour.

If you want the atty to do more work for you, then you work that out with him/her.

Best luck.

sylvia

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 2:29PM
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goose53

Jean, i was lucky my sister gave me the retainer, but I had to use some of it for utility bills. my lawyer was good enough to accept the 300 and $50 a month payments...I owe A LOT but as long as she gets the $50 the firm is happy.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 3:29PM
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hildegardsc

check with Layer Referral service in your area and they can help you find a Pro Bono Attorney, every Law Firm donates some time to Pro Bono.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 4:25PM
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centralcacyclist

How to Find Legal Help

Please determine which legal service is appropriate for you:

If you are low income, and:

* have a civil legal problem
* do not live in King County

Call CLEAR Intake (toll free) 1-888-201-1014 for legal assistance

The Northwest Justice Project has developed a client intake system called CLEAR. The system allows low-income individuals to be referred to legal assistance in their community by calling a toll-free number. Certain cases can be referred to Northwest Justice Project offices, local volunteer lawyer programs, law school clinics or other resources in the caller's community. When seeking assistance, please call CLEAR Intake (toll free) 1-888-201-1014 before calling other legal services programs.

For self-help legal information on a variety of topics, go to www.WashingtonLawHelp.org

If you are low income, and:

* have a civil legal problem
* live in King County

Visit the Northwest Justice Project's King County legal service providers directory for assistance.

For self-help legal information on a variety of topics, go to www.WashingtonLawHelp.org

If you are not low income:

There are Lawyer Referral Services throughout the state, and there may be one in your area. Lawyer Referral Services are for the general public; there are no financial eligibility requirements. The lawyers charge their regular fees for services after the initial consultation. These are not low-cost or reduced-fee attorney panels.

If you live in Spokane County, you may be eligible for low cost legal services depending on your income and type of legal problem. Please call CLEAR Intake (toll free) 1-888-201-1014 for legal assistance.

For self-help legal information on a variety of topics, go to www.WashingtonLawHelp.org

Here is a link that might be useful: WA Bar Association

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 6:56PM
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JeanInWa

WoW You are all great! Thank you!

BarnMom, I found that number too on one of the links you gave earlier. Thank you so so much!

Part of the weight is lifted knowing that there ARE options, and resources.

Jean

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 9:37PM
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daffodilly

This is how I did it. I went to the Court House & paid $2.00 for a sample of a simple divorce. Then, I copied it, changed the names & specifics, & filed. I had to pay about $90.00 to file. I had waited in limbo for about 10 years because I didn't have the money to hire a lawyer. In Okla., Legal Aid could only help if there was physical abuse. There wasn't. I asked him many times if he would let me do it the simple way, but he wouldn't let me go. Finally, he said yes & was drunk when he signed the papers. It was the biggest relief I have felt! Don't know how you can get the money to file or if he would sign the papers, but try Legal Aid if all else fails. Wish I could have done it sooner!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 10:29AM
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JeanInWa

Guess what I'm going to do with my tax refund this year? Yep. I'm gonna do it. Just do it and be free!

Thank you everyone!

Jean

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 10:52AM
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centralcacyclist

Jean, that's wonderful news! Keep us posted.

Eileen

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 2:47PM
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arcy_gw

So are you free of him? I am surprised no one told you to get a divorce ASAP. ANY debt he incurs will be YOURS as long as you two are legally married, and yes it doesn't matter if you move to the other side of the USA for 10 million years you are still LEGALLY married to him, so what is his is yours and what he owes you owe. A lawyer would be cheap compared to what he could saddle you with.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 4:33PM
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asolo

Four years old, boss. Dead, dead, dead. What's the matter with you?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:48PM
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grneyesalways04_yahoo_com

My husband has been in jail for 100 days and we do not know anything. He is in there for 2 parole violations. We have no court date or a lawyer. What can I do to get the ball rolling???

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 3:29PM
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