There are a lot of unpleasant parts of divorce, but one aspect people dislike the most is attorney fees. It is not uncommon for a couple to spend more on getting a divorce than they did on their wedding. However, there are ways that you can keep your attorney fees under control.
- Be sure there is a retainer fee agreement: Having a retainer fee agreement in place sets an hourly rate for all parties who will work on your case. Review this agreement and be sure to ask questions about any part that you do not understand.
- Ask about minimum billing fees: Attorneys often bill in time increments. This means that if you call your attorney and ask a question that only takes a couple of minutes, you may be billed for five or even 10 minutes. Make sure you know what these fees will be before you get the bill.
- A therapist could be cheaper: Do not make it a habit to call your attorney just to complain about something that has nothing to do with the legal process. You would save money by consulting a good therapist instead.
- Insist on a monthly statement: If your retainer fee agreement does not say anything about getting a monthly statement, be sure to ask for one. No one wants to find out months into their divorce that they have racked up a $10,000 bill that they cannot pay.
- Review your bill carefully: Your attorney is a human, which means mistakes can happen. Do not be afraid to ask about something you see on the statement that may be incorrect.
- Be upfront with your attorney about your budget: If you have a budget for your divorce, let your attorney know. If you are honest with your lawyer about your budget, then he or she will likely try to get you the most bang for your buck.
- The longer the process, the more it costs: The more you and your soon-to-be-ex fight over things, the more expensive it will get in attorney fees. It does not make sense, for example, to spend $800 in attorney fees fighting over a washer and dryer that cost $500. In the long run it would be cheaper just to go buy a new one for yourself.
- Court costs a lot of cash: Although you may not think highly of your spouse, try your best to work things out without going to court. If your attorney has to prepare for court and spend time at the courthouse, make sure what you are trying to accomplish is worth it. Do not spend your child’s college money trying to win a battle that is not in anyone’s best interests.
- Take your attorney’s advice: You hired your attorney for a reason. Divorce is emotional, and your attorney understands that. Rely on your lawyer’s experience to help guide you through the process. He or she knows the ins and outs of divorce, so let that experience be your guide.
- You are in control: Be sure to check in with your attorney regularly and keep your expectations regarding the outcome of your divorce realistic. This can help you control costs and achieve your goals.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today
If you are going through a divorce or even just thinking about it, contact the attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law today. We understand that family issues are hard, and we will work to help you through them as quickly and easily as possible.