Everything You Need to Know About Unbundled Divorce Services
Did you know that the average divorce can cost many thousands of dollars or more? However, you don’t need to let concerns about this keep you from divorcing a problematic partner. A trend called divorce à la carte, or unbundled divorce services, can save you money.
What Is Divorce À La Carte?
This type of divorce gets its name from restaurants’ à la carte pricing scheme. In à la carte pricing systems, customers pay per item instead of paying a flat fee for an entire meal. When it comes to divorce, the concept is much the same. Typically, people who get a divorce agree to a flat fee or an hourly rate that covers all attorney services. They agree to pay a set sum and then the lawyer handles every part of their divorce.
In an à la carte divorce, the client pays only for specific services. This type of legal arrangement is technically referred to as unbundled legal services. Your lawyer will give you a list of different services to pick from, and you pay them only for those activities. Anything the lawyer doesn’t handle will be left up to you and your ex-partner. Depending on your needs, you might want to pay for one or more of these services:
- Drafting legal documents
- Reviewing legal agreements and explaining them
- Negotiating with the other side
- Collecting evidence on your behalf
- Representing you in court
- Filing documents with the court
Benefits of Using Unbundled Divorce Services
The main benefit of this divorce method is that it’s very affordable. Since you have to pay only for the things you need help with, you save a lot of money. Especially if your divorce is simple and non-contentious, you can easily handle things like asset division yourself. You just pay a relatively small amount for paperwork instead of spending thousands of dollars on services you don’t really use. If you’re looking for a less-expensive divorce, unbundled legal representation is definitely the way to go.
Many people also like that this method puts them in charge. You don’t have to sit back and wait to hear from your lawyer all the time. Instead, you set up your own timeline and decide what needs to be done. The divorce lawyer is there to provide support as needed, but you remain in control.
In some cases, a divorce à la carte is also faster. When a couple starts disagreeing and getting into lengthy legal fights, the process can drag on for months. However, if you and your estranged spouse can work together, an unbundled divorce can be quite fast. You don’t need to wait on your respective divorce lawyers to have a free schedule, and you don’t spend a lot of time in formal negotiations. In many cases, people are able to quickly sort out the details, spend an hour or two getting basic help from a lawyer, and then have things promptly filed with the court.
How Much Do You Have to Do Yourself?
Keep in mind that these cost savings do come with some extra responsibilities for you. This type of divorce is often called a DIY divorce because you and your spouse will handle a lot of the details yourself. The more you manage yourself, the less you have to pay your lawyer. Depending on your situation, you might want to handle one or more of these following tasks:
- Discussing fair ways to divide assets
- Submitting prepared paperwork to the court
- Collecting documentation on all debts and assets
- Drafting preliminary child custody agreements
- Communicating with your ex and their lawyer
- Filling out basic paperwork
If you’re considering this type of divorce, the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner can help. We offer a variety of flexible pricing options, so you can find the services and fees that fit your situation. To learn how much a divorce à la carte would cost at our Jenkintown law office, schedule a consultation today. Call 215-886-1266 or fill out our contact form to learn more about our pricing options.