Out of the many New York City couples who are getting divorced, quite a few will handle the process on their own without the assistance of a retained legal counsel. This is because either they do not believe they can afford a lawyer, or their divorce is simple and there are no assets or children involved. Regardless of the reason as to why this may be, it is important for the unrepresented to have access to all of the legal help the New York State Unified Court System has to offer.
The Collaborative Family Law Center
According to the CFLC’s website, the Center offers free divorce mediation to qualifying couples. The mediation is performed by non-profit organizations and law school students who are nearing graduation. Mediation will often help to keep the couple’s divorce case out of the courtroom.
County Bar Associations
Each county in New York City has a designated Bar Association. The bar associations, in part, help to connect clients with knowledgeable legal professionals. The Brooklyn Bar Association, for example, has a Volunteer Lawyers Program for low income residents who are desperately seeking an attorney.
The New York Unified Court System recognizes how hard it can be to find a successful and trustworthy attorney to handle your sensitive case. This is why the Lawyer Referral Service exists. The LRS has a database of pre-screened attorneys in all areas of the law, including matrimonial and family matters, that you can meet with throughout the New York City area. Most of these meetings are free of charge, however, some restrictions apply. It is best to contact the Brooklyn Bar or LRS directly for more information.
The County Clerk’s offices in each borough, as well as Long Island and Westchester, have help centers for parties who have not retained counsel. These help centers are staffed with knowledgeable employees who can provide you with case information and filing forms, copies of court documents (orders, rulings, etc.), and even recommend other legal assistance offices or programs. For locations and further information on these help centers, visitNYCourts.gov.
Free Court Documents Online
To make a court action easier for the non-represented, the New York Unified Court System offers free legal forms online. The database is divided by court (Civil, Family, and Supreme), and include everything from Orders of Protection, Petitions, and theUncontested Divorce Packet.
New York State has strived to make matrimonial and family law cases somewhat easier for those who choose to not retain counsel by providing the Do-It-Yourself crowd with accessible resources. That being said, it is always a good idea to contact an experienced divorce attorney to advocate on your behalf throughout your legal proceeding. The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates focuses exclusively on divorce and family law, and has for the past 20 years. Their knowledge of the law, and their ability to navigate a sometimes complicated court system, allows them to provide their clients with the best possible representation. Contact the helpful and friendly staff at (212) 355-0887 or (718) 875-7584 to schedule a free consultation in our Brooklyn or Manhattan offices today!