Last week’s post was about the real cost of a divorce, and after seeing those figures you must be wondering how to save money on your divorce legal fees.
Despite these high cost, there are many ways you can save on your divorce legal fees. Here are 5 tips that I share with my clients to keep fees low. While this list is not exhaustive, it is certainly a good start to save you as money.
5 Ways To Save Money on Your Divorce Legal Fees
Do as much work yourself as possible.
Your attorney will be doing all of the legal work but you can cut back on hourly fees by gathering and organizing any documents or information they may need from you. Once you sign your retainer, ask your attorney for a list of what they may need so you can get it together right away. Unless they ask for originals, give them digital copies.
Many law offices these days are paperless so your lawyer is going to scan the documents anyway. This takes time, and you will more than likely be charged for that time. If you provide originals that they have to make copies of, you may be charged for that as well. Providing it to them in and digital format saves time, money and energy.
Be smart about communicating.
A mistake that many divorce clients make is treating their divorce lawyer like a therapist and venting about their ex. I genuinely care and will listen, but like a therapist,I will have to charge for the time.
Remember you are being billed for most communications so stay on task and make them count. I suggest keeping notes on everything you thing you need to discuss so you can discuss it in one phone call instead of three. On the same note, be sure to promptly return calls and emails from your lawyer as you may be billed for their attempts to contact you.
Be On Time And Prepared for Meetings.
I bill my clients from the time the meeting is scheduled to start even if they arrive late. If I am waiting on them to show up I can’t work on other matters.
When a meeting is scheduled asked your lawyer what will be discussed and if there is anything you need to bring. This will help everyone stay on topic and you won’t have to come back later with documents you forgot.
Consider Unbundled Legal Services.
Unbundled legal services or limited scope representation is a great way to save money on divorce legal fees. Instead of representing the client for the entire matter, the attorney attorney performs specific tasks. This is a great option for people representing themselves in simple matters who need the guidance of an attorney.Unbundled legal services are a great way to save money on legal fees. Click To Tweet
Examples of unbundled legal services include review of documents, advice about strategy and assisting the client in filling out forms. Unbundled legal services are not well suited for complex litigation matters that require continuous legal representation, but are good for matters that don’t involve custody or substantial assets.
Joleena Louis Law offers a selection of unbundled legal services. Use this form to get a price list.
Listen To Your Lawyer.
Your attorney is a professional and if they are giving you advice it’s because they have seen this before and know what the outcome may be. It will usually cost you more if you go against your attorney’s advice and they have to help you deal with the aftermath.