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What is a Divorce Paralegal?

Going through a divorce can be an exacting time for any person, emotionally and financially. Hiring a lawyer can prove to be expensive yet some people find it intimidating to handle the entire court procedure of filing for divorce on their own.  A divorce entails filing several documents in court until the divorce is finalized and this can be a tedious process, apart from being time-consuming and stressful. A divorce lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities, and represent you in court, but if you believe your divorce is uncontested, and are looking for an affordable method of filing then a divorce paralegal might be a better option for you.

Many people choose to file for divorce on their own to save the expenses of hiring a lawyer but, if you’re not familiar with the rules and procedures,  this can prolong the entire process. The paperwork can be confusing and complicated and a minor mistake can cost your divorce filing to be rejected. To avoid this risk as well as the expenses of hiring a lawyer, you can avail the services of a reliable divorce paralegal. These professionals can assist you with filing the correct paperwork and render various services at reduced rates compared to a lawyer.

What is a paralegal? Typically a paralegal is an assistant to a lawyer. Some of them work directly with a lawyer within the same office but there are plenty who branch out on their own and work independently, depending on their experience, education and training. However, a paralegal does not have the authority to offer legal advice. This can only be done by a lawyer. You may choose to hire a lawyer depending on your case and if you feel you may require legal guidance during the process. A paralegal will also not be able to represent you in court, should your case be headed for a hearing or trial.

A divorce paralegal with sufficient experience can help you maneuver through the divorce process, and guide you through it depending on the rules and acceptable procedures of each court jurisdiction.  If you feel that the paperwork and court rules may be overwhelming for you, a divorce paralegal will be able to offer the right kind of support and guidance.

How to select the right divorce paralegal

  1. Since you will be spending a substantial amount of time with your divorce paralegal, it is important to hire someone with the right personality and attitude.
  2.  Check their customer service skills before hiring them. Pay close attention to how responsive they are to your calls and emails and how much interest they show in knowing the circumstances surrounding your divorce.
  3. Seek out professionals with a certified license in other supporting services, such as mediation, so they are able to assist if your divorce does not go as smoothly and you require conflict intervention as you work out the issues with your spouse.
  4. They should be well versed in the laws and regulations of the Province and City where you are filing your divorce.
  5. Hire someone who specializes in divorce or family law matters, rather than someone who has experience in a vast array of areas. This will ensure that their knowledge in that particular field is honed.
  6. Do a little research and seek referrals about your divorce paralegal’s credentials from relatives and friends who have availed their services for their own divorce or family matters.

Hiring a divorce paralegal is just one of the options you can use when seeking a divorce. If you and your spouse have mutually decided to end the marriage and you believe your divorce will be uncontested, then hiring a paralegal may make all the difference to you. A divorce paralegal is also ideal for those who have no kids,and little or no property to be divided.

Divorce paralegal services offer the right balance between self-representation in a divorce and hiring a lawyer. A divorce paralegal will cut down your expenses, as compared to a lawyer and will provide a level of assistance at a much lower cost. Ensure that you hire a professional who has experience in the field of family law and divorce, and has the right experience, and offers support services. A qualified divorce paralegal could be the right addition to your divorce team and could be crucial to the success of your divorce process.

If you’re looking for an independent, experienced divorce paralegal to help you get an affordable divorce in Calgary and allow you to focus on moving on with your life quicker and smoother, get in touch with me!

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