Reduce the Cost of Your Divorce Attorney
There are some people who should not represent themselves.
This could be because the issues of their family law cases are very complex, and there is so much to be lost or gained. If you are one of these people or you have already retained an attorney to represent you, there are still things that you can do to minimize your costs. Read these 4 tips (plus a bonus tip) to learn how to reduce the cost of your divorce attorney.
1. Consider alternative payment arrangements
If you know you want an attorney to handle all aspects of your divorce, consider proposing a flat fee arrangement. This will only work if you have a good deal of cash to shell out up front, but could save you considerable money in the long term. If you are able to negotiate a flat fee with your attorney, you will not have to worry about monthly invoices or by-the minute-billing. This could make the arrangement much more beneficial and stress free for you. However, some attorneys who work on a flat fee basis may charge between $20,000-$50,000 for a flat fee divorce.
2. Get organized
Deliver to your attorney a complete set of the documents that they have requested. Make sure the documents are in an organized and easy to understand format. If you need assistance with this, hire someone to help you at home or ask a friend or relative who is especially organized. It will be much less expensive than paying an attorney to organize your documents.
3. Be disciplined in your communications
Resist the urge to email or call your attorney every time your ex does something that you don’t like. Instead, keep a journal of your thoughts and questions and put together a thorough email once a week of everything that you consider important. Alternatively, schedule a meeting to go over your questions with your attorney. Often the attorney is a person’s best ally and they start to feel like a friend. However, this friend comes at a high hourly rate, so do not rely on your attorney as your confidante, emotional support or cheerleader. Instead, turn to your actual friends or consider seeing a counselor who will be covered by your insurance.
4. Remember your objectives
Resist the urge to get caught up in the details and drama of your case. Continue to reference your goals and objectives and remember what you determined you “could live with” as you move forward. People rarely get everything that they are asking for in a divorce and it makes sense to continually do a cost benefit analysis of each and every step your attorney proposed.
Use available resources
At any point during your case (unless you arranged a flat fee), you can opt to undertake some of the steps of paperwork yourself using free documents at the Maricopa County Courthouse, or through a paralegal service, like Access Legal.