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How To Pay for a Divorce Lawyer?

Figuring out how to pay for a divorce can be stressful. Divorce and family law situations can get expensive. In a high-conflict divorce, you can find yourself paying for attorney fees, court fees, expert fees, and different 3rd party neutral fees. Some expenses will be unavoidable. For example, Minnesota has one of the highest court filing fees for divorce in the United States. However, you have more control over the cost of your divorce than you probably think.

Learn how to keep your expenses down and what influences the cost of your divorce by reading: How Much does it Cost to Divorce in Minnesota. 

Fortunately, a good divorce lawyer or family law attorney should get you through your situation as fairly and as inexpensively as possible, and can end up saving you thousands in the long run. Read: 8 Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney to see why it’s worth hiring an attorney for your divorce or family law case. In addition, the Minnesota Judicial Branch has detailed when you do and don’t need a lawyer in Representing Yourself in Court

Payment Options for a Divorce Lawyer or Family Law Attorney 

Because figuring out how to pay for a divorce lawyer or family law attorney can be a challenge, here are some options clients have used in the past to pay for legal services:

Credit cards – Most law firms accept credit card or debit card payment methods.

Bank accounts – Personal savings and checking accounts, even marital bank accounts, may be used.

Loans – Borrowing money from relatives, friends, or financial institutions. 

Sell or Mortgage property – Any non-marital property can be sold to pay attorney fees. 

Spouse – Sometimes a spouse may be required to pay attorney’s fees by the court.

Learn more about: When Your Spouse is Required To Pay Your Attorney Fees.

Retirement accounts – You can talk more about this directly with your divorce lawyer or family law attorney. 

Third Party – A third party, such as a mother or father, friend, boy/girlfriend, etc… can pay on your behalf.  If this is the case, just let your divorce lawyer or family law attorney know ahead of time so that s/he can explain the process and provide additional details.

NOTE: If a third party pays on your behalf, it’s important that the third party understands and agrees that the divorce lawyer or family law attorney will be representing you, and as the client, it’s your wishes and decisions that matter. Fortunately, however, this typically doesn’t become an issue with third party payments on behalf of a client.  

What to Do if You Can’t Afford to Pay for a Divorce Attorney

If you don’t have the means to pay for a divorce lawyer or family law attorney, take the following next steps: 

  1. Contact your local legal aid agency (if available in your county) to see if you’re eligible for low or no-cost legal representation.
  2. If you’re not eligible for legal aid assistance, it’s unavailable, or no one could be assigned to your case quickly enough, your only other option is to represent yourself in your divorce or family law matter. In this instance, you should start preparing right away. You’ll need to know all Minnesota statues, follow proper court policies and procedures, complete paperwork, research case laws, etc…
  3. Read: Should I get a Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota to get a better idea of what representing yourself in court will entail and what issues you’ll want to make sure you address.