Few things in life are as emotional as getting divorced. In every consultation, I always ask the client how they are doing and most, if not all, suggest that they are “okay” or “fine.” I doubt having to talk to an attorney is the ideal way you want to spend an hour of your time. No one likes the idea of spending hard-earned money on lawyers.
When two people are already struggling financially, emotionally, and in their physical and personal relationships, spending thousands on a lawyer is about the last thing they want to do. But the question you should be asking is not “Can I afford to hire an attorney?” but “Can I afford to NOT hire an attorney?”
Lawyers can protect you and save you years of financial hardship and stress that poorly drafted divorce decrees can cause. Hiring an attorney can be the thing that actually saves you money in the long run.
Contrary to public opinion, lawyers actually want to help. They want people to reconcile and stay married and live happy lives. Divorce doesn’t have to deplete your life savings—in fact, it could be one of the best investments you make to protect your future and your family. Here are some tips and tricks (from a divorce attorney) about what you can do to keep attorney fees as low as possible.
Method # 1 – Do your research on attorneys
There are two kinds of attorneys. There are ones that need your work and the ones that want your work. The attorneys that need your work are the ones that are going to sell you on themselves or their firm in the consultation and are going to solidify to you why you need them as your attorney. These attorneys tend to rack up more legal fees and are doing it for the wrong reasons. Attorneys that want your work are the ones striving to do the best legal work in the most efficient way possible.
Method # 2 – Know your goals and exactly what you want to achieve
Knowing the most important goals in your divorce can lead to a more concise ability to actually achieve those goals. In a divorce, you never get everything you want and no one really wins. Therefore, knowing your most important goals allow you to focus on what is important to you and not spend time-fighting and/or negotiating over issues that do not matter.
Method # 3 – Keep attorney communications brief and clear
This may sound like a lawyer avoiding client communication, but nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, there are myriad ways to reduce the time consumed by talking to a lawyer. Many clients call their attorney for emotional support—crying and lamenting over problems that have little to do with the actual court proceeding. If you need emotional support a therapist or a friend is much cheaper than your attorney. Remember that most attorneys bill by the hour—or by a tenth hour, more specifically (6 minutes).
A final note on fees
Many clients ask if their divorce attorney can just handle the matter like all the big personal injury firms in town. You know the ones. You can see billboards up and down Utah interstates; you can hear the radio ads and television commercials. They say they will not take a fee unless you win. However, divorce lawyers are legally prohibited from taking fees this way. This is sort of common sense if you think about it. How moral would it be if a lawyer had a financial incentive to see two people get divorced? On the contrary, a lawyer benefits from two people getting along and having a peaceful divorce or reconciling. People who have good experiences often refer to friends.
If you are facing a divorce, contact a skilled Salt Lake City divorce lawyer who can discuss payment options and other arrangements to help you manage your divorce. In some cases, you might even be able to petition the court for your spouse to pay some or all of the fees. Remember that hiring an attorney can actually protect you and save you from future financial hardship and ruin. Contact divorce attorney Jill Coil at Coil Law, LLC to schedule your consultation today.