If you are researching how to get divorced without hiring a lawyer, you are probably encountering a lot of legal terms for the first time. Sometimes one concept goes by more than one name, and sometimes very different concepts have confusingly similar names. Are alimony pendente lite and temporary alimony the same thing? Who knew that child custody has more to do with decision making than with the children’s place of residence? What is the difference between community property and equitable distribution? Divorce lawyers would be happy to explain all of those nuances for you, albeit for an exorbitant price. If you are determined not to involve lawyers in your divorce, which is a wise choice, perhaps the most important matter of terminology to straighten out is the difference between a legal assistant and a legal document assistant in California.
What Does a Legal Assistant Do?
A paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, works at a law firm and performs certain tasks that involve dealing directly with clients. For example, a paralegal may prepare court documents such as divorce petitions or marital settlement agreements for clients. This means that when you hire a divorce lawyer, you might actually be getting the services of a divorce paralegal. Law firms bill clients an hourly rate for services performed by lawyers and a somewhat lower hourly rate for the services performed by paralegals. Having paralegals do whatever work does not absolutely require a lawyer can help law firms’ bottom line, but it is not the most cost-effective option for clients.
How to Divorce Without a Lawyer
Paralegals can only work on divorce cases as employees of a law firm; the lawyers must sign off on everything the paralegals do. There is a less expensive option for you in your divorce case. If you do not need a lawyer, then you do not need a law firm. Your decision to have a professional prepare your court documents is a wise one, but you do not need to deal with law firms and their expensive hourly rates.
The best way to divorce without hiring a lawyer is to have a registered legal document assistant prepare your divorce documents. Unlike paralegal, legal document assistants do not need to be affiliated with law firms; in fact, most of them are not. Legal document assistants can prepare court documents and file them with your county’s court independently of lawyers and law firms. Best of all, legal document assistants do not charge hourly rates. Instead, they charge flat fees for individual documents they prepare and even offer document preparation and filing packages, so you pay one flat fee for your entire divorce case.
Hire a Legal Document Assistant, Not a Law Firm
You should be counting down the hours until you are officially single again, not counting up the hours that a law firm will bill you for the services of a legal assistant. Contact A People’s Choice to accomplish your divorce quickly and without inflated hourly fees.
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