It is said that almost half of the first marriages end in divorce. It is also said that a divorce will be the largest financial transaction in your whole life. You built a home and a life with one person, but things went sideways. If you are in a bad financial situation, you are probably wondering if it is possible for you to get out of the marriage without hiring an attorney.
In this article, we are going to help you learn what you need to know if you want to get a divorce with no money. Follow our tips, and if you are in need of help, don’t think twice about contacting the right people and relying on your friends, and family.
Know the laws
There are lawyers who do pro-bono work and who may be able to help you without having to pay them. So, search for an attorney who can take your case on for no fee and that will guide you. If you cannot find a pro-bono lawyer, or you don’t qualify for free legal representation through legal aid, you will need to sit down and do some research.
You can go to local libraries and find as much information as you can about your laws and if there is a possibility to get divorced without paying every step of the way. You should know that your specific situation plays a great role whether or not you can secure free representation.
For example, if you were abused by your partner, there are places you can contact that will support you, help you find a place to live and they may even cover the expenses for your divorce.
Also, in many states, partners can get separated legally without paying court fees. You should check the jurisdiction where you live to see if this option is available. However, you should know that you may have to provide evidence that you are financially unable to pay the fees.
If you do qualify for free legal representation and if you or your partner has money hidden on the side, that can complicate things. Be sure to be honest about your financial situation.
Try to save as much as possible
If you are aware that you want to get out of your marriage, then you need to start saving some money as soon as you possibly can. Even if you find a way to get divorced without needing to spend money on the case, you will need cash to stay somewhere. If you have children, that can complicate things and require more money.
You should first stop using credit cards that you have joint with your spouse. Experts suggest that instead of credit cards, you should use money in a joint bank account to buy things for you and your children, to pay off mortgages and to pay any debt you have.
Open a bank account in your own name that your spouse does not have access to. You can also get your own credit cards and you should borrow some money from your friends or family. This will give you some financial independence once your divorce case starts.
Things your spouse can do to leave you broke
We always hope that the person we once chose to marry will not try to hurt us, but when people are angry or pressured to do something they don’t want to, they can do some really harmful things.
The first thing they might try to do is to starve you out and push you into accepting a settlement that’s going to be unfair. If you don’t have your own funds, and if your partner is the one who supports your household, they may stop paying bills or providing food. Because of that, you should start saving money as much as you can before the separation procedure starts.
They may even try to clear out all the joint bank accounts and with that, leave you broke. Rightlawyers.com suggests that if you notice that your accounts have been cleared, you should get a divorce attorney as soon as possible because they will know how to act and what to do in this case. Talk to the bank, talk to your lawyer, and try to get proof that you are not the one who took all the money.
Your spouse may cancel all the joint credit cards, so you won’t be able to access any funds. If you notice that your card is being declined when you try to make a charge you should act as soon as possible.
Beware that if you leave the house without taking all of your possessions, there is a chance you may not get everything back. If you really have to do that, you should get a safe or a storage unit in your name and put your most valuable things there. In that case, if something happens to the things in the house, you won’t lose too much.
Try to agree
If you and your partner want to get divorced with no money, the best thing you can do for yourselves and for your children is to agree to agree.
Even if you don’t see eye to eye on every issue, you should sit down and talk. When you don’t argue, you will be able to cut costs on lawyers, procedures, and additional fees. If you have children, it is going to be easier to find the middle ground about custody when you talk. You may even come to an agreement on alimony.
Remember that you will need to divide everything you have, and if you do that on your own, the whole procedure is going to be much shorter. You were once in love, and you chose to be together, so it is going to be easier now if you choose to go your separate ways peacefully.
If possible, try to compromise, and try not to harm your partner just because you can. Dragging out the case will only lead to additional fees and too many days in court. Remember you have to pay every time you sit down with your lawyer and every time you book a date with the judge. The fewer court dates, the better.