How to Help Keep Your Divorce Legal Fees Down
You’ve decided to divorce, and now you want to know how you can help keep your divorce legal fees down.
But some complex divorces are significantly shorter than some substantively straightforward divorces.
More than anything, the level of cooperation or conflict that exists between the two spouses is what impacts divorce legal fees.
Read on for how to keep legal fees down.
Determine Your Goals and Stay Focused On Them
Divorce is a legal mechanism with tremendous power to change your life for the positive. Leaving an unhappy marriage for a better future is transformative.
Determining your goals is critical to designing your divorce itself — but doing is even more critical to ensuring your divorce is geared towards creating the life you want post-divorce. Plus, your continued, laser-like focus on your big picture keeps attorneys’ fees down.
It’s easy to get swept up in the minutiae of the divorce and allow it to distract you from your big, important goals. Make those decisions, make them in the context of the things that really matter to you. For example, does an hour difference on pick up and drop off really matter, or does having substantial, quality time with your children matter?
Keep yourself focused on the big picture (such as financial stability) rather than aggravating annoyances (a bill your spouse paid late). Make a physical list of your overarching goals in a secure, private location, and refer to it when you feel yourself getting agitated and sweating the small stuff.
Not coincidentally, this is the key to a positive divorce experience . . .
Communicate Effectively With Your Spouse
After your goals, two spouses’ ability to communicate effectively (effectively — not perfectly) is a key piece to having the best divorce possible. Although you cannot control your spouse’s communication, you are 100% in charge of how you communicate (and respond).
Mediation and collaborative divorce are two ways to encourage communication and negotiation right from the beginning of the divorce. That said, the spouses’ reasonableness and communication are also huge drivers of litigation attorneys’ fees.
For five tips to communicate effectively with your spouse . . .
If you have a high conflict spouse . . .
Hire Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
There are a lot of good reasons to make sure you hire a lawyer experienced with divorce and family law rather than a generalist — we’ve all heard the expression “jack of all trades master of none.”
One of them is that a lawyer highly familiar with divorce and family law is more efficient than a lawyer who has to switch gears from a criminal matter or a real estate closing.
At Freed Marcroft, this is one of the reasons our lawyers limit their practice to divorce and family law. We believe in getting really, really good at one thing. It’s the difference between “an inch wide and a mile deep” and “a mile wide and an inch deep.”
Help Us Utilize Your Divorce Paralegals
Not every member of your legal team has the same hourly rate, and at Freed Marcroft we allocate work so that it is done by the most efficient member of your team for that purpose. Our paralegals bill at a lower hourly rate than our attorneys.
You can help us by contacting your paralegal first when you have a question. Freed Marcroft paralegals are very experienced family law paralegals, and can provide tons of answers themselves. They are also our resident air traffic controllers, so your paralegal will identify when an attorney is the best fit to help you with your question, and get you set up to speak with her.
Plus, because attorneys are often in court and paralegals are mainly in the office, they not only help you get correct answers, but they get them to you quickly.
Be Streamlined in Your Attorney Communications
We have already talked about streamlining your focus to the things that really matter, and making our paralegals your first call.
Legal teams bill for their time, so the more streamlined you can be in your communications with your team the better – for example consolidating multiple topics into one email, call, or meeting and getting documents and information over to your team when they request them saves time and, therefore, legal fees.
At Freed Marcroft we are continually building out our complimentary library of client resources to help give clients insights and an overview of different parts of the divorce process. Plus, this blog contains tons of information to help you learn more about what is coming next in your divorce and what to expect and also sets you up to have a more streamlined conversation with your legal team that’s focused on your priorities.
Nothing about divorce is “one size fits all,” including the legal fees involved. That said, the things that prolong a divorce and make it financially and emotionally expensive and time-consuming generally look similar from case to case.