How to Keep Costs Down in Your Divorce
Updated: Jan 20, 2020
One of the most common questions I am asked during a consultation is, “How much is this going to cost?” Truth be told, there is no easy answer to that question. Every family law case is different. Each case involves unique issues, and the cost of your particular case will depend on a number of factors, including the level of conflict, complexity, the number of disputed issues, and whether children are involved. While you may not be able to control all of those factors, there are several things you can do to help keep costs down in your matter:
1) Stay on top of deadlines:
Family law cases are heavily driven by deadlines. Your attorney will stay on top of these deadlines but will often rely on you to provide information or documentation needed to meet these deadlines. For example, towards the beginning of your case, you may be asked to provide financial disclosures. The list of documentation required can be exhausting and intimidating. However, it’s important to provide this documentation to your attorney on time. Failure to do so will almost inevitably lead to higher fees.
2) Remain in contact with your attorney:
Your attorney relies on you for important information about your case. We work as a team, and our team cannot succeed if we’re not communicating well. If you suddenly stop communicating with your attorney, this may end up costing you more in the long run. Make sure you check your e-mail often, or let your attorney know if another form of communication works better for you.
3) Be reasonable:
The level of conflict in a matter is often controlled by how reasonable the parties are willing to be. If you are not willing to pick your battles, you may find that your attorney fees are higher than expected. For example, if you find yourself arguing over personal property, such as who will be receiving the lamp from the living room or the Keurig coffee maker, you may spend more in attorney fees than the item is actually worth. It is always important to remain reasonable, level-headed, and focused on the big picture items during your divorce or custody matter. While settlement may not always be the best course of action, depending on the circumstances, it can help to significantly reduce costs.