How to Save Fees!
Divorce costs can become overwhelming. Being prepared and knowing what to expect can go a long way towards controlling the time, effort, energy, and of course, money, that divorce consumes. By using the information here to prepare yourself, we estimate you will save at least 20 hours of your attorneys’ time! With an average hourly rate exceeding $250 per hour — that’s $5000 in savings!
Attorney fees are almost always based on the time they spend working on your case. So, the best way to control costs is to use your attorney’s time wisely. Unfortunately, your spouse can cause your attorney to invest time responding to meaningless correspondence or motions, or chasing them for documents they should have already provided. There’s nothing in particular that you can do about it.
All you can do is focus on your actions. There are keys to keep your costs under control:
- Do your homework and be prepared
- Make decisions based on both emotional and financial components
We have compiled a list, included below, of the most important information you need to collect. Start getting it together. Don’t put it off —it will only cost you in the end.
Learn about the divorce process and options that you have to resolve your case. Go on the Internet. Figure out what your new life is going to look like. Figure out what it will cost. Find a local support group. Get out there and begin learning. Hopefully this will be a one-time event for you, so you will only have one chance to get it right. Lots of people have made lots of mistakes and most will gladly share them with you so you don’t make the same ones.
Hire the Best
The best attorney isn’t the most expensive or the individual with the most years of experience. The best attorney is someone who can handle your case in the manner in which you would like and obtain a fair result at a fair price. It’s critical that you match the experience level and size of the firm you hire with the needs of your case. Know who you are hiring and why you are hiring them.
Know your finances. Know your budget during your marriage and for your future. Where will you be living? What is it going to cost?
One of the greatest contributions to divorce costs is from an inability to make a decision. Every delay costs money — because it requires your attorney to prepare before your next meeting, letter, phone call, etc. Never feel compelled to rush your decision however, just to save time. Be sure you make informed decisions, but consider emotion and thoughtful financial ramifications.
Try to consider both components, and not just one or the other. Often times, it will be too expensive to get back money that may rightfully be yours, because it would require extensive fees for attorneys or experts. Typical examples of situations where it might be too expensive to get back your attorney fees:
- Expenses your spouse paid for an affair
- Gambling losses
- Non-reported cash earnings from work
- Personal items which are not recorded in documents or photos
People also spend incredible sums of money disputing custody and creating a parenting time schedule. Before you fix your mind on certain terms, consider the financial impact of sticking to your guns unless there is a severe problem like substance abuse or diagnosed mental illness. It is best to remember at one time you had a good relationship with the other parent. Remember, kids get older and start making their own decisions about where they want to be after school or where they want to sleep. A lot of these issues tend to work out on their own after a divorce is finalized.
By reading this information and following the steps outlined you will be more prepared than 95% of your peers.