Getting divorced can be expensive yet there are many ways that you can minimize the cost. First, it is extremely important to hire a qualified family law attorney to represent you in a divorce. Although a qualified divorce lawyer may bill at a higher hourly rate, you are paying for quality. Further, it is economical to make sure your case is handled right the first time. Keep these tips in mind when going through a divorce:
- Come to your attorney prepared. Have your personal Federal Tax Returns for the last 2-3 years; any corporate Tax Returns for the last 2-3 years; the most recent statements from any bank account or financial accounts; the most recent statements from any retirement accounts; and any deeds to real estate owned by either party. These are things your lawyer will need from you and having them organized will save you and your attorney time.
- Respond timely. When your attorney calls you, be sure to call them back. Many hours of billable time are spent trying to get in touch with a client. If you are responsive to your attorney’s requests, the number of hours expended on your case will be reasonable.
- Be sensible and deliberate. While going through a divorce, there will be times when your soon to be ex-spouse does something that infuriates you and you will want to call your lawyer and have your lawyer contact your spouse’s lawyer or file a motion with the court. These impulsive decisions are expensive. Your attorney will likely act upon your impulses and spend unnecessary time on a non-emergency matter.
Abraham Lincoln wisely stated that “a lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” Whenever your attorney works on your case, you will get billed for his/her time. You can limit the amount of unnecessary work time by following the above tips.