How to Find a Free Divorce Lawyer

You can find a free divorce lawyer near you by speaking with an attorney online for free or calling the American Bar Association. If you make less than $13,500, you may ask the judge to appoint you a free divorce attorney.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Apr 3, 2022

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Overview

  • The average divorce attorney fees are between $300-$500 an hour
  • You may qualify for a free divorce lawyer if you make less than $13,500 per year, but income thresholds can vary by state
  • Call your local American Bar Association or the phone number above to find free divorce lawyer consultations near you

In criminal law, defendants are entitled to legal representation. However, in divorce cases and other civil proceedings, you will only get a free divorce lawyer if you meet the income threshold in your state. 

Do you qualify for free legal aid? In most states, you must make less than the federal poverty level of $13,500 per year. However, the threshold could be higher or lower depending on which state you file your petition for divorce. 

The good news is you can easily find free divorce lawyer consultations online, at a local law school, or from a legal aid society. Get free legal advice online first before hiring a lawyer, so you can find the answers you need before investing in an attorney. 

Hiring a divorce lawyer is a personal and financial investment that should not be taken lightly. Our guide will arm you with the right questions to ask to find the right attorney for you and your budget. Read now to learn how to find a free divorce lawyer near you.

Where can I find a free divorce lawyer?

It is in your best interest to hire a divorce lawyer if you and your ex contest custody or finances. Fortunately, you have a few options regarding the process when you can’t afford an attorney:

  • Speak with an attorney online for free
  • Call your local bar association
  • Qualify for a court-appointed attorney

However, the first thing you should do is ask your family and friends to recommend a legal aid office or pro bono attorney. If you know someone who is already divorced, ask for their advice and the resources they used, too. One of the most important things to remember about divorce is that it disrupts the entire routine of your life. It can help to talk with others and learn from their experiences.

Speak with an Attorney Online

You can find reputable content and free divorce lawyer advice online. Look for websites with articles written by legal professionals and curated by credentialed attorneys and law firms. 

Getting in touch with divorce attorneys in your area is easy with our free legal advice forums. You can also call the number above to speak with a local attorney right away. We will connect you with a free divorce lawyer in your area. They can answer questions about the divorce process in your state and advise you on steps to take regarding custody or property.

Call Your Local Bar Association

The American Bar Association (ABA) will connect you with pro bono legal resources. Call the local chapter in your city and ask for resources you can use to find affordable legal aid. Depending on where you live, the ABA can put you in touch with attorneys who can offer free legal advice.

In most states, the ABA will offer 30-minute attorney consultations for $30, and some topics are often free. For example, the ABA in Akron, OH, offers a free Ask an Attorney service on certain days of the week. Call your ABA to see if something similar is available near you.

How to Qualify for a Court-Appointed Attorney

If you cannot afford an attorney, you can ask the judge to appoint one for you. This lawyer will only represent you in custody and visitation matters in most cases. However, you may qualify for a free court-appointed divorce lawyer if you meet your state’s income requirements.

For example, some states provide free divorce lawyers to individuals who make less than $13,500 per year. You will have to provide financial proof of income to qualify, and some states may have higher or lower thresholds.

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How much does a divorce lawyer cost?

Divorce lawyer fees will vary depending on the terms of your divorce. Uncontested divorces can be settled quickly and save you money. However, if you and your ex have to split property, assets, and custody, the divorce process can take some time. And since lawyers often charge an hourly fee, costs can rise quickly.

Divorce lawyers charge $300-$500 per hour on average after an initial retainer fee of $3,000-$5,000. 

Retainer fees will vary depending on the complexity of your divorce and the type of attorney you hire. You can often lower these fees by offering to contact witnesses and notarize documents on your own.

What if I can’t afford a divorce lawyer?

If you don’t qualify for a court-appointed attorney and still cannot afford a divorce lawyer, contact the local legal aid offices in your city. These non-profit organizations are available in every state and help low-income individuals and families get free legal advice and counsel. 

You will still have to meet an income threshold, but you can access other free resources through legal aid to help you navigate your divorce. You may also qualify for a free divorce lawyer if you are a veteran or immigrant. Victims of domestic abuse can also get free legal advice and immediate assistance by calling the hotline at (800) 799-7233.

You may also ask a judge for an Order for Counsel Fees. This motion will order your ex to pay your attorney fees if they control a considerable amount of the assets. However, your ex can always contest the motion.

Do I need to hire a divorce lawyer?

You may not need to hire a divorce lawyer if you have an uncontested divorce. You can often print petition for divorce forms at home and file them with the county clerk yourself. You will also have to personally serve your spouse with the divorce papers once you officially file.

However, if you and your ex cannot agree on custody rights or have financial disputes, hire a divorce lawyer to protect your best interests throughout the process.

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How To Find a Free Divorce Lawyer

The average divorce attorney’s rate is between $300-$500 an hour. But finding a free divorce lawyer isn’t impossible. It just will take a bit of research on your part to determine what you qualify for and where you can find the most affordable legal counsel for your budget.

The best place to start is with free legal advice forums like ours. You can also call your local American Bar Association and legal aid offices to find pro bono attorneys in your area. Depending on where you live, you may qualify for a free divorce attorney if you make less than $13,500 a year. 

Even if you cannot find a free divorce lawyer, you can still take advantage of the free divorce lawyer advice on this website. Call the number above now for a free divorce lawyer consultation today.

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