While this list could be a whole lot longer, here is some of the best advice for keeping legal fees to a minimum.
Look for alternatives to litigation – If you watch a lot of televised dramas, you may think that your Colorado divorce is destined for courtroom litigation. While your divorce certainly does go through the legal system, this doesn’t mean you will necessarily appear in court. One of the best ways to minimize divorce attorneys’ fees is to seek out alternatives, such as divorce mediation. This highly effective procedure allows you and your ex to realize a settlement with a neutral third party attorney, or mediator. The mediator provides legal guidance and advice to facilitate a more expedient agreement between the parties, which is a whole lot faster than a series of hearings. Collaborative divorce is another option that can keep the divorce proceedings out of court while keeping divorce attorneys’ fees minimal.
Do some of the work for your lawyer – Depending on the nature of your divorce, this could mean gathering necessary information, using checklists that itemize marital assets, obligations, incomes and expenses. In order to represent you in court, your divorce attorney needs to know a lot about your financial life, as this information is used to determine child support, spousal maintenance and the division of assets. Gathering this information yourself will save a lot on divorce attorneys’ fees.
Know when your lawyer is on the clock – Divorce attorneys live in the world of “billable hours” so be sure you don’t get caught up in lengthy discussions when he or she is “on the clock”. Not every client realizes that their fees include time spent discussing their case over the phone. Make sure you get clarification about what is considered “billable” before you sign an agreement for representation.
Finally, your lawyer should give you an estimated cost for each part of your divorce. If you request it, he or she should also provide some tips for keeping your divorce attorneys’ fees lower. To get started on your case, consult with one of the experienced Colorado Springs divorce lawyers at the Marrison Family Law LLC.