Many of you are undoubtedly aware of online legal companies which provide general ready made documents; however, little support or guidance as to their proper usage. Moreover, if the divorce you initially believed would be friendly and amicable isn’t quite so friendly, you are left with documents not specifically tailored to your individualized needs in the midst of a contested divorce litigation, during which your future ex-spouse may have legal counsel of their own.
A rising trend in the legal field is the concept of “unbundling.” This is essentially a la carte legal services, where you the client can engage an attorney in a limited capacity for a specific task, such as providing consultation services for an upcoming mediation between you and your spouse or to draft a particular document, such as a petition for dissolution of marriage or a timesharing schedule. Additional services may include ghostwriting documents, legal research, limited court appearances, legal strategizing and coaching or preparing exhibits and documents for court usage.
This is a good way of keeping legal fees low and obtaining legal services while on a budget. Furthermore, if you need additional documents prepared or services rendered, you can always contact the attorney; enter into a separate agreement for the preparation of these documents and “pay as you go.”
Understandably, this is not for everyone. Many people feel more comfortable knowing that an attorney is handling their case and they have someone with whom to confide and strategize. Please remember, sometimes clients by deciding to represent themselves may unknowingly give up rights they are entitled to or end up costing themselves more money in legal fees by having to fully retain an attorney later on in the process to remedy previous mistakes.
Sometimes it is better to not be a “do it yourselfer” and seek professional help, but in case you are feeling adventurous, unbundling may be for you.