The main difference between a divorce paralegal and divorce lawyer is that paralegals are not entitled to set fees or offer legal advice to clients. Paralegals who do give legal advice may be in violation of the law and may face certain consequences. There are other differences as well that set the two titles or professions apart that are important in understanding when you are considering hiring legal help and/or representation when getting divorced.
Paralegal do not go through law school, but usually possess some degree of specialized schooling. Some learn on-the-job, while others earn a two or four year degree. They are valuable and vital members of many legal firms, with some possessing advanced degrees. Their training is usually not as broad as a lawyer's and they are usually trained in certain areas of the law. Some consider them as assistants to lawyers, although in many cases their training allows them to carry out certain tasks that would normally go beyond what many consider an assistant.
A divorce lawyer is trained to analyze your case and consider possible routes to take in protecting your rights and winning your court case if you or a former spouse is contesting the terms of your divorce. They will use their legal training and experience to offer legal advice that is helpful in guiding you in the right direction. As mentioned previously, paralegals are not permitted to offer legal advice.
Some services offer divorce paralegals that carry out the tasks and fill out all of the paperwork necessary when filing for divorce, although they may not consult the client or offer them advice regarding their divorce or protecting their legal rights. This is often a cheaper route to go when getting divorced, but the client does not have access to the trained legal mind and experience of a divorce attorney.
Some choose to use these divorce paralegal services in cases of uncontested divorce, although the minute a divorce becomes contested, they may feel lost and end up hiring an attorney anyways. You do not have to hire a lawyer to file for divorce, but with the many implications of your divorce agreement (division of assets, child and spousal support, child custody, visitation, etc.) an experienced legal mind is often helpful, if for nothing else than to review a divorce agreement before it becomes official.
By: Justin DiMateo
It is very important to review the differences even more when it comes to paralegals especially since some family law attorneys offer very affordable Flat Rate Divorce fees and you know your paperwork will be done correctly. Because a divorce is a major legal document you want an expert to handle it or review it before final recording. Schedule a consultation with an Affordable Divorce Lawyer by visiting the offices of Diefer Law Group