How To Save Money On Your Divorce
Let’s face it, attorneys are expensive. However, they are often a necessity. This is especially true in family law. As you move through your divorce, there are a multitude of things to consider that can, and will, save you money on your legal fees. Below is a non-exhaustive list of recommendations to keep a few extra bucks in your pocket at the end of your divorce.
Hire a skilled divorce attorney
Attorneys who specialize in a particular area of the law may be more costly per hour, but their legal experience will undoubtedly save you money in the long run. Find an attorney who limits their practice almost exclusively to family law matters.
Keep your emotions in check.
Going through a divorce can undoubtedly create a whirlwind of emotions, but it usually does not reap a financial benefit if you allow your emotions to direct the handling of your case. A family law attorney recognizes and is prepared for their clients to illicit some emotion. However, a good family law attorney will express empathy for their clients while also redirecting you to the facts of your case and steer clear of making emotional decisions. Allowing emotions rather than facts to be the driving force behind your legal decisions will certainly cost you much more in counsel fees.
Your attorney is NOT your therapist!
This one goes hand in hand with #2. Airing your emotional grievances with your therapist rather than you attorney is more cost-efficient. More importantly, your therapist is specifically trained to assist you in dealing with these issues. Your attorney should not share the same emotional upheaval and would be doing you a disservice if they simply mirrored your own personal feelings towards your case. While empathy is a vital characteristic of a family law practitioner there is a significant difference between your attorney empathizing with you during this difficult time and allowing themselves to get emotionally involved in your plight. Being able to represent your best interests requires your attorney to look at your situation objectively not emotionally.
Learn how to communicate efficiently.
Virtually all family law attorneys bill their clients for the specific time they spend on your case. You will be well-served if you learn how to make the best use of your attorney’s time. For example, instead of emailing your attorney with one question every day, try to gather all your thoughts and send them in one email, perhaps weekly. While this may not work if a matter is time sensitive, most of the time it’s achievable and will save a client a significant amount of money over the length of the divorce matter.
Don’t pay your attorney $1,000 to argue over the $500 sofa.
There is a cost-benefit analysis for all negotiations/litigation. You must balance those costs against what are you hoping to accomplish. Not everything is worth fighting over. A good family law attorney will assist you in differentiating what is worth fighting for and what is not.
When your attorney requests information or documents from you, respond in a timely fashion. You are simply throwing money away if your attorney must bill you for follow up requests for information.
While every moment your attorney spends on your case costs you money, remember your time is free. When you provide documents to your attorney, spend some time organizing the documents so your attorney does not have to.
Listen to your attorney.
Don’t ignore the advice of your attorney. This seems like a no-brainer, however clients frequently dismiss their attorney’s advice. Of course, you absolutely have the right to question your attorney’s advice if you do not agree, but you must be mindful that their advice is based on years of experience.
The information contained in this publication should not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice or answers to specific questions, please contact one of our attorneys.