Cost of a Divorce
Every client has concerns about what their case will cost. Like all other professionals, attorneys do charge for their time. However, there are ways you can work with your attorney to control your legal fees.
You can reduce your legal fees by doing your own legwork by providing your attorney with complete financial information regarding your assets and debts. Gather documentation for your bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit cards, stocks, bonds, deeds, and titles. This saves the attorney from having to formally request the information from the other party or other attorney. There are times when you simply will not have access to the other party's information. However, if the attorney can limit the requests to the other party, you save money.
Communication with your attorney is key in effectively working for you. An e-mail is an inexpensive way of keeping your attorney informed with necessary information about your case. An e-mail gives the attorney a chance to think about your problem before they communicate with you, and often takes less time than a telephone call. And frequent telephone calls add up quickly.
In most cases, you are billed for all time the attorney spends working on your case. You will save money by addressing simple issues such as working with your spouse to divide personal property or deciding who will pay for the household bills through the divorce. Of course, there will be times you simply are unable to negotiate with your spouse, or come to an agreement. But, making the attempt to do so prior to attorney intervention will prevent unnecessary attorneys’ fees.
Together, you and your attorney should discuss your unique situation, and think of other ways to work efficiently. If you and your attorney are mindful of what needs to be completed in your case, and consider the cost and benefits of each task, your attorney can provide you with the best legal representation with the resources available to them.
Laurie Schmitt of Schmitt Law, PLLC is a West Michigan family law attorney specializing in collaborative divorce as well as separation, divorce, child custody and support, paternity, and other family law litigation. She is licensed by Michigan State Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and has extensive advanced training in divorce mediation and collaborative divorce. Contact Laurie at (616) 608-4634 for a confidential consultation.
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