If you’re dealing with a divorce, you probably wonder about the financial cost of the process. Those fears are certainly justified since emotions tend to run high when spouses argue. A divorce can financially destroy one or both parties.
Luckily, you have a chance to control how much your divorce will cost. In spite of your spouse’s behavior, you can take some steps to minimize your legal fees and keep the financial situation as stable as possible.
By hiring good lawyers, such as Kabir Family Law and following the rules below, your divorce will be less painful and your legal fees will be much lower.
1. Try to solve your problems and stay together
Trying to resolve problems is the best alternative for those who think there is a chance to save a marriage since even a friendly divorce can be quite expensive.
Before calling an attorney, have an honest conversation and/or visit a therapist for a couple’s session.
2. Honesty with your attorney
You should never have your attorney surprised in court. If you don’t tell them everything concerning the divorce, especially the details which are not favorable to you, your attorney will have to spend additional time uncovering those facts.
Covering those things certainly won’t make any legal issues go away. Besides, you will have to pay your attorney additionally for the time spent on getting the whole story.
In most cases, those issues can easily be resolved front end, while the attempts to hide them tend to result in more complications.
3. Respectful communication with your spouse
If you cannot have a civil conversation with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse regarding issues such as sharing custody over your children, then the attorney will have to do talking for you.
Even though a good divorce lawyer can be helpful when serving as an intermediary between the two parties, remember that attorneys will charge for their time.
If you both choose to arrange every single child visit and discussing every small detail about the children through an attorney, the legal fees from all these conversations will add up quickly.
4. Be open to compromise
Divorce usually causes hurt feelings which can lead to bad decisions. For instance, you shouldn’t fight with your partner about every single detail about your divorce.
If you wish to cause as much emotional and financial pain as possible, you might succeed, but you will lose a lot of time and money as well during the process.
A far better approach would be to get through the divorce with the least possible financial damage to you so you could move on with your life and build a happier and more stable future.
If that is something you want, then it is crucial you find ways to compromise with your spouse.
Even in cases when you two cannot make an agreement, think of litigation as your last resort since it is quite painful and expensive. Ask your attorney about other options such as mediation- it could resolve your fundamental disagreements and save you both time and money.
5. Contact Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Paralegals and legal assistants charge much lower than attorneys. Contact them when you need answers to some administrative issues, such as what is happening in your case or when is your next court day. Also, talk with them if you need a copy of a pleading.
This tip will certainly save you a lot of money- call your attorney only when you require legal advice.
6. Read the retainer agreement carefully
Most people don’t read the retainer agreement when they hire an attorney, so they don’t understand how the time is charged. That results in them being surprised when the bill comes and not making the best use of the time they’re paying for.
When you hire a lawyer, it is important to understand their hourly rate and billing practices.
For instance, you should be informed about your lawyer’s base increment of time for billing purposes. Most attorneys will charge by increments of tenths of an hour, which means six minutes at a time.
You should also find out if they charge for travel time and other expenses.
When you are informed about how much your lawyer is billing, there will be no surprises and you’ll be able to choose when to call them and when to address the issue by yourself without the consultation.
7. Choose your fights
Keep in mind that every battle in a divorce will cost you money. For instance, if you challenge your ex-partner over a $500 dining room set, you might win. However, your lawyer fighting for it could cost around $1,000. By falling into this trap you will just burn money over replaceable assets such as electronic devices or furniture.
Instead, focus on finishing the divorce process as quickly as possible. Use your resources for battles that matter, such as unreplaceable possessions and fair child custody arrangements. To get the most out of your deal visit here.
8. Always be organized
Your lawyer is going to require plenty of information and financial documents. If you keep everything well organized, it will be easier for you and the attorney. Use whatever system makes sense to you and arranges things logically.
When having a meeting with your attorney, try to write down any information you want to share with them or questions you would like to ask. Your meetings will go faster if you are prepared, which will result in lower attorney fees.
9. Fill out your Financial Disclosure Statement
You will be in the best position if you are familiar with your finances. Fill out the financial disclosure statement and also some supporting documents like credit card balances, mortgage statements, bank statements, and past tax returns.
That way everything will be much easier for your attorney. This will limit the information gathering that has to be done by your attorney through discovery. Therefore, he/she spends less time on your case, charges you less, and you save a good amount of money.