Here at Fair Price Legal we understand that most people want to save money and keep as much as they can in their own bank account. In an effort to save money (or people simply don't have it), there is an increasing number of people who resort to finding forms and other self-help ways to resolve their legal issues.
Over the years, a number of people who speak with us are looking for help in completing forms because they want to save money. We get it BUT doing-it-yourself may not always be the best way to resolve your legal issue. Remember: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." What does that mean? It means that it may be wise to spend a little more on the "front end" with the assistance of an experienced attorney (whether you believe your case to be "simple" or not), than to make a misstep and pay an exorbitant cost in time and money because something you drafted or a form you filled out from a website did not comply with the law, local rules, judges procedures, etc.
It is no secret that legal problems can cost you a lot of time and a lot of money. Almost everyone has other responsibilities in their lives, whether it’s a job, children, school, appointments, or all of the above, and of course fitting sleep in there somewhere. Life is hectic. When it comes to tackling a legal battle on your own, you may want to reconsider. It can be a full-time job, in and of itself; between getting together and responding to all of the correct paperwork and documents needed, keeping track of court hearings and deadlines, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless and not to mention totally confusing.
The reality of most self-help forms and so-called "legal" websites are that even in the best light, the forms and other legal documents can still be confusing and downright intimidating. Again, it is our sincere advice that no matter how small you believe your issue is that you should seek the assistance of a qualified attorney who went through years of college and law school, and most likely has been in court and managed many cases such as yours. Attorneys will know what paperwork needs to be filed and when, which motions to object to, what to write in a response to the opposing party, legal research, and preparation of legal documents, and keeping track of important dates such as scheduled hearings and deadlines. This is just to name few. There is a lot more to dealing with a legal matter than you may realize, and it would be extremely beneficial to have an attorney by your side rather than DIY.
Pre-printed legal forms definitely have an appeal. They appear to be a quick and easy way to take care of legal matters, with the fill-in-the-blank style seemingly leaving little room for error. However, there are a number of issues with these types of forms that can lead to problems down the line.
· Document may be out of date – a quick online search can bring up results that are decades old, which means the law may have changed several times since it was published
· Instructions may not be clear – you might think you understand it, but if you don’t, there is nobody to ask for clarification
· It is easy to fill out a form incorrectly – online websites will not review your form for accuracy, which means errors are likely
· Mistakes go unnoticed until it is too late – you prepare legal forms in order to protect yourself and your loved ones, but even one simple mistake can make them invalid when you need them most
· One size fits all format – this usually allows little to no room for customization, even though each person has their own specific individual needs
Okay, even after all of that, you still want to do-it-yourself. If so, maybe you can modify and at least have an attorney review your self-help forms and "ghost write" what may be missing or needed. Sure, you may have to pay a cost for the attorney's time, but the cost will be minimal when compared to complete legal representation.
All that being said, we have included some links to self-help legal form sites that you may wish to consider using. We do not advocate that the sites are legally accurate or that they can sufficiently provide you with the correct form for your matter. We receive a commission or percentage of the sale if you use the services. That said, if you do move forward with the self-help documents, we are willing to review or revise your paperwork for a reasonable fee once you have decided to move forward.
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