Many divorcing couples may be worried that ending their marriage is going to break the bank. No divorce case is exactly the same, but there are many common reasons why cases can become drawn out and more costly. Divorces that are high conflict, filled with disputes, and have spouses unable to work with one another will result in higher legal fees and more time spent going through the divorce process. However, with the guidance of an experienced legal team and a little preparation, it is possible to avoid a high-cost divorce.
According to Kris Balekian Hayes, managing partner at Balekian Hayes, PLLC, the following five simple steps can help couples save money during a divorce.
1. Talk to your lawyer about your budget. At Balekian Hayes, PLLC, when we are aware of the financial constraints of our clients, we often offer them the chance to review records and highlight certain topics, create outlines and timelines and draft the factual sections of pleadings instead of charging them for us to do this for them.
2. Keep all documents organized. If you don't keep your documents organized, you are paying your lawyer to organize things for court. Ask your attorney if there is a way that you can organize important files that would assist in the litigation and save you money overall.
3. Reach as many agreements with your spouse as possible. All litigation is expensive so try to litigate the fewest number of issues possible. If you can, attempt to have those difficult conversations with your spouse because that may lead to an agreement and save you both attorney's fees.
4. Be reasonable. Although you may love that coffee table, it may cost you $500 to replace and $1,000 to fight your spouse for it. Throwing good money after bad isn't hard to do when you let emotions take over, so try your best to handle property decisions as reasonably as possible because most things can be replaced.
5. Don't send your attorney an email for each idea you have. Make a list and send one email a day in a concise fashion about all of your thoughts. Attorneys bill by the hour and various time increments. It's possible that your attorney is charging you for the lowest time increment for each email read even though it doesn't use the complete allotted time (up to 6 minutes per email). You can send one email with all of your thoughts and not use more than that one increment.
The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with Balekian Hayes, PLLC visit: https://www.bhfamilylaw.com