When you are going through a divorce, the attorney is one of the most expensive elements of the proceedings. If you are trying to reduce the cost of your divorce, you need to think about the attorney. That doesn’t mean you should choose a cut-rate lawyer, but it means that you should be smart about your representation. Make sure you shop around for an attorney charging reasonable rates. Then, follow a few guidelines to keep the costs down. You play a big role in saving money!
Bundle Your Questions
When you hire an attorney on retainer, they work on billable hours. Essentially, every time you talk to your attorney, meet with your attorney, or your attorney goes to court, they are going to bill you. Being aware of how this cost model works is important. So, if you have a question that isn’t urgent but you call the attorney, they’ll charge you for the time spent on that phone call. If you have a non-urgent question, write it down. Once you have a few questions stacked up or if you are schedule to meet with the attorney anyway, you can ask the questions then. That reduces your billable hours while also allowing your attorney to focus on your case.
Attorneys often bill in time increments. For example, they might bill in tenths of an hour. If you call or text your attorney with a question that only takes two minutes, you’ll be billed for the entire six minute increment.
You should gather all of the information that you can to provide to your attorney. That means receipts, bills, insurance statements, medical records, school records, and anything else that could be evidence of your life. If you can gather all of that, meetings with your attorney will go much faster. That means fewer hours billed. Also, your attorney won’t have to reach out to you or go hunting for the documents; that also means fewer hours billed.
If your attorney asks you a question or requests some information, you should respond in a very thorough manner. Be sure to respond in as organized a manner as possible, too. If you send them incomplete information, they’ll have to ask follow-up questions or go in search of the information themselves. That’s more hours billed and also reduces the effectiveness of your attorney.
For example, if you are giving an attorney a summary of your finances, don’t just hand them a shoe box of crumpled receipts. Maximize their time by organizing the receipts. Things like that can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over time. This adds up to a significant cost savings!
Considering a divorce? Call Boise divorce attorney Jeff Townsend to schedule a free consultation. See how you can work together to save money and get the results you desire.