Want to Save Money On Your Divorce?
What’s that? You are getting divorced and don’t want to pay your lawyer anymore than you have to? Welcome to the club. The club that includes every divorce client I’ve ever had. Below I’m going to give you my top 5 ways to save money on your divorce.
1. Be Organized
I’m going to let you in on a secret (by the way this secret is also in the retainer you signed and got a copy of when you hired your lawyer) it’s that your lawyer charges by the hour* and that means the les
s work he or she has to do on your case means it will cost you less! Folks this isn’t rocket science, but every week I talk to clients who seem totally shocked that their bill is so high and act as if they are shocked how this could possibly happen!?
Well, one way it happens is If you want your lawyer to go to the courthouse and get the legal description on your house, call the financial agency that has your retirement accounts and get information as well as run the Kelly Blue Book Information for your car, they can and will. And it will cost you. Unless you are indifferent about what your bill is (and if you really were indifferent you wouldn’t be reading this post!) you can do a lot to save your lawyer time and…Time is Money in the legal world, never forget that.
2.Let Your Lawyer Do His Or Her Job (aka give them time).
This next one is really just an extension of the first tip, and that is don’t call your lawyer everyday with emergency situations that have to be dealt with. When you all and talk to your lawyer for say 10 minutes every day just to see the status of the case, that costs you money. Typically it costs you 2/10ths of an hour. Your lawyer will call you when there is news really!
If you call and want to talk to your lawyer about every situation that could happen and ask if the order you are waiting for came in, well that will cost you. Understand that the court system is slow, very slow. That “court time” is not the same as real-time and it will take months to get divorced. Patience is a virtue that will save you money in the judicial system
3.Have Reasonable Expectations
What’s that? You say you want alimony, child custody, the car, his retirement, her grandmother’s china and an apology? Well, your lawyer can try and get all that, but the more unreasonable your expectations the harder it will be for your lawyer and that means more work for your lawyer…which means what? You guessed it, a lot more money in legal fees.
So, what you need to do is have a discussion with your lawyer that about what you can reasonably expect from the divorce process and judicial system. Tell them what you want, what is important to you and your lawyers would be able to tell you if it’s possible and even talk about how much more that may cost.
4. Stay Calm
The madder you get the more the fees will go up. Why? Because of all the reasons listed above! You will be calling your lawyer daily, talking for 30 minutes and making unreasonable demands! It’s the absolute worst thing you can do for your case is to get and stay mad.
Stay calm, get through this miserable time of your life and then remember that old adage, that better living is the best revenge!
5. Pay attention to Emails and Letters
When you get a letter or an email from your lawyer or their assistant, respond! I’m always amazed at how many times I need to call and leave messages or send multiple emails asking for a response. Folks, this is your divorce, not your lawyer’s. The outcome will have life long implications for you and your children, not your lawyer’s. When your get a call from you lawyer call them back! Respond and give them the answer they need to get you a better result! Oh yeah, also every time your lawyer calls you or emails they typically charge you, so don’t make them call you a half-dozen times to get a response!
There you go, some common sense way to save money on your divorce.
Minnesota Divorce Lawyer
- Not every divorce lawyer charges by the hour and there is an upcoming post on that topic…stay tuned.