Posted on June 27th, 2018
There are a lot of things to consider when you’re going through a divorce. A few of the most important ones are to make sure your interests are taken care of, your and your dependents’ needs are met and your assets are protected. This is the time in life when you do not want to compromise with the quality of your representation.
Depending on the complexity of your assets and whether you have children you might face an expensive investment. We understand the fine balance of partnering with the best divorce attorney and knowing how to make the process efficient. That is why we put together the top 5 ways you can save time and money from attorney fees.
1. Consolidate your questions for the attorney.
Your attorney and paralegal will bill for their time in 6-minute increments or a .10 of an hour. Because of this billing structure, the minimum time you will be charged is .10. This is true regardless of whether your question took 1 minute or 5 minutes. If you consolidate your questions, you can make the best use of that time. By way of example, if you have one question each day for 5 days and those questions can be addressed in the minimum time (under 6 minutes), you will be billed .5 of an hour for those 5 questions. However, if you organize and consolidate your 5 questions during one conversation or email exchange, it is likely that those questions can all be addressed in much less time.
2. Organize your disclosures and use a file sharing service.
Where people don’t realize they waste time and resources is submitting incomplete or unorganized documentation. Understandably, it will take your attorney team more time to sort through and organize the information if it is not presented in an organized manner. Likewise, if you rely on your attorney team to completely draft your Sworn Financial Statement, it will take more time and ultimately cost you more money.
In case you are missing documents make sure to communicate that. Let us know what is missing and when you expect to provide that information so we aren’t spending unnecessary time looking for documents that are not yet available to us.
It is important that you keep track of your deadlines and that you provide the information to us prior to those deadlines. Otherwise, your divorce attorney team will spend time reviewing your case and contacting you with reminders, which takes unnecessary time. If you are required to produce information and fail to do so, the other party can file a motion with the court compelling you to provide that information. If that motion is filed and ultimately granted, you may be required to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees.
If you organize your disclosures and document, and use a file sharing service (log in information will be provided to you by the paralegal) to help prepare your sworn financial statement, your legal team can review and finalize these documents much faster. The best practice is transparency and timeliness in these cases.
3. Narrow your issues.
Decide what is worth fighting for. You do not want to waste time and money on an issue that you are not going to prevail on at hearing. Fighting over an issue “for the principal of it” can be very costly. There are certain issues that you will not want to concede and that may require litigation. However, you want to make sure you are making wise decisions regarding what you are litigating. It may be difficult to take a step back and look at the issues objectively because the issue is personal to you. It is in those times that you need to have discussions with your attorney who can give you advice in a more objective manner.
4. Be responsive.
Be actively involved in your case and responsive to requests that may be made of you. If there is no response it will require additional follow up and may result in additional costs.
5. Communicate effectively.
“Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.” ~ Mike Krzyzewski
Your attorney team is here to support you and make sure your needs are met during a divorce. That is why it is crucial that you communicate your goals and objectives so that everyone is on the same page. In addition, if you and the opposing party are able to effectively communicate with each other, and have reached any agreements, make sure you let your attorney know. That way if that agreement needs to be memorialized in writing it can be done quickly and filed as a partial stipulation with the Court. This can help narrow the contested issues and will result in an overall cost savings to you.