I think that one of the biggest surprises that clients can have in a nasty divorce case is how expensive it is. It simply shocks me how unreasonable people can be about the simplest things in their marriage and then they are even more shocked when the bill comes due. My favorite story is the client who insisted on a birdbath, we filed motion and affidavit , drove to court, argued, submitted a brief for a ….$70 concrete birdbath that my client just didn’t want the ex to have. Total cost in legal fees for that? $2,000.
Now, I’m a lawyer not an accountant but even I can see that is simply throwing good money after bad. What People should do is try their best to set aside their emotions and be a cold, hard accountant. Do a cost benefit analysis and determine if you should fight for a particular item.
With custody it’s harder, it’s difficult to put a price tag on spending time with your kids, but what you can do is do a serious self assessment and ask yourself if what your fighting for really is worth the cost (not to mention mental and emotional strain) to say, have parenting time be at 6:00 instead of 5:30. Ask yourself are you doing this because it’s best for the kids or because you want to “stick it to” to your ex.
A few quick tips to save money during your divorce:
- Be organized, don’t ask your lawyer to do it if you can.
- Be reasonable.
- Don’t treat your attorney as a mental health counselor, you are paying for every minute you talk to your lawyer.
- Finally, settle try and settle the case if you can!
One of my favorite sayings is “Who’s kids do you want to pay for college? Mine or yours?” It can be that expensive and if if you aren’t keenly aware of the costs associated with a divorce, you will be very suprised at the bill.
My final tip, don’t be afraid to talk about the costs of the divorce with your lawyer. I understand it’s not fun or pleasant, but if you are having trouble paying for your divorce, you are always better off talking to your lawyer and trying to work out a payment plan.
Thanks for reading, and as always any comments or questions be sent to me at Jkohlmeyer@rokolaw.com