Divorce can be stressful, not just emotionally, but also financially. If you are facing a divorce, and are worried about how much the entire process is going to cost you, then this article is for you. We highlight five ways to save on legal fees during divorce.
But before anything else, you should know that uncontested divorce costs less than those that are contested. You might want to talk with your spouse, to see if you can reach an agreement regarding the division of assets, alimony as well as child custody and support if there are kids involved.
Here are five ways to save on legal fees during divorce:
Don’t represent yourself
It’s easy to imagine that self-representation is the best way to save money – after all, you won’t need to pay an attorney. However, it can be a huge mistake, especially if your spouse has a lawyer by their side. In such a case, you stand no chance of arguing your case against your spouse and might end up losing your marital assets or getting less than you deserved. Furthermore, there are plenty of things that are involved in the divorce process that will take up much of your time, energy and resources. It would be cheaper, easier and convenient to let a Galveston divorce lawyer do what they do best, and that is to represent you in your case.
Do thorough research beforehand
As with any services, the legal representation fee will vary from one attorney to the next. So, you want to shop around to ensure you get value for your money. Some attorneys will charge on an hourly basis, while others, a flat rate. Consider both options and all factors therein, and determine which one is right for you. Keep in mind that price shouldn’t be your only determinant when choosing legal representation. In the legal world, you get what you pay for, and in divorce cases where there’s a lot at stake, you don’t want to risk losing your assets, or children, just because you went for the lowest bidder.
Get a written fee agreement
Most divorce lawyers who charge by the hour will need a retainer fee before they begin their services- they will then charge fees against the deposit until it is depleted. At this point, you become responsible for any extra cost incurred. So, it is crucial that you get a written cost agreement that states the precise financial terms of the representation. Without a contract, you might end up dishing out money for hidden expenses.
Do not withhold any critical information about the divorce from your attorney. Delaying tactics like not handing over documents requested by your lawyer is also not right. Remember, this will only increase the need for communication between you and your lawyer and your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer – which translates to more costs. It’s cheaper to turn over all documents and information in the discovery phase.
Don’t mistake your attorney for a therapist
Divorces are very emotional, but you don’t want to use your lawyer as the sounding board. Don’t call them every time you feel like you can’t take it anymore, or if your spouse says or does something that pisses you off, especially if you are keen on saving cost. Calling them will increase the price. So instead, get a therapist (your insurance will help you pay for it), or better yet, use a friend.