Effective Strategies to Keep Your Attorney’s Divorce Fees to a Minimum

Divorce is a complicated and emotionally draining process that can feel impossible to navigate without support. The attorney’s fees associated with it usually just add another layer of stress. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to mitigate those costs.

These fees can vary considerably depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the attorney’s experience and reputation, how much work you are willing to do, and what compromises you are and are not willing to make.

While it’s impossible to predict the exact amount you will have to pay, understanding how attorney’s fees work can help you keep them low while still giving your attorney the power to try to get you the outcome you want.

Check out this short video with a few tips from one of our family law attorneys and read more below: 

Understanding How Your Attorney Gets Paid

When you hire an attorney, you are paying for their professional advice and representation. You are not just paying for their time in court — you are paying for all of their time.

That includes every phone call you make, every email you send, every time your attorney has to call or email your spouse’s attorney, every time they have to fill out a document for you or edit something you have written — all of these items are something you get charged for.

The easiest way to reduce how much you pay is to reduce how much work your attorney has to do, which does not mean doing their job for them — it just means being more efficient with everything you need to do to move your case forward.

Here is how you can reduce how much work they have to do and save yourself some money.

1. Be Honest

Withholding information from your attorney can lead to unnecessary complications and extra work — it can also get you in serious trouble.

For example, trying to hide assets to keep your spouse from getting them is a big no-no. If you do not tell your attorney about all your assets, and then your spouse’s attorney finds them, you are going to end up paying a lot more to your attorney to fix the mess you have created.

On top of that, judges do not look fondly on people who try to hide assets.

This is an across-the-board piece of advice. Your attorney needs all the facts — even the embarrassing and messy ones — to do their job effectively. They are not there to judge you — they are there to help you.

Other things that can cause major issues if covered up include addiction problems, infidelity, tax issues, problems with your business or job, debts your spouse does not know about, issues with your home — the list goes on. This applies to information about your spouse as well. Do not try to cover for them.

2. Communicate as Efficiently as Possible

You pay for every minute of your attorney’s time. That includes emails, phone calls, and meetings. Make sure you make the most of each of those.

Prepare for meetings in advance and have any requested documents and information ready to go. Show up early and ready to hit the ground running. 

Consolidate your questions into one call or email. If you have follow-up questions, consider waiting a week and sending them all at once with other questions that come up in the meantime.

3. Take the “Homework” They Give You Seriously

Your attorney will need you to do a lot of “homework” throughout your case. This includes everything from collecting and organizing documents to collecting witness information, answering interrogatories, and filling out court documents.

Try to be as organized as possible and always edit your writing and responses. If your attorney has to spend extra time sorting through your documents or understanding what you’ve done, you will be billed for it. 

4. Do Not Use Your Attorney as a Therapist

Divorce is painful, difficult, and overwhelming. No matter how you feel about your spouse or where you are at in your life, it’s going to be tough. Even the strongest people need emotional support during a divorce.

It is not your attorney’s job to provide that.

Let your attorney focus on your case and pay them for that. Work with a therapist to get through the emotional side of things. 

5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Another common mistake is fighting over small issues. Constant arguing over insignificant matters can drag the case out and increase costs.

To put it simply: pick your battles, and try to be flexible. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground where it matters most, but let the things that do not matter slide. Sometimes something as simple as letting your spouse keep the TV or a painting they like can avoid thousands of dollars in fees.

With the Right Approach, You Can Keep Attorney’s Fees to a Minimum

Divorce is stressful enough as it is, but it is possible to manage your costs effectively and work towards the outcome you want without breaking the bank. With smart planning and careful decision-making, you can navigate the divorce process without letting attorney fees overwhelm you.

Let’s Talk About How We Can Help You Today

If divorce is looming in your life or you need help custody issues, we are here for you.

Contact us today to set up your initial consultation or call us directly at (214) 646-3253.

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