Contested divorce cases can be extremely costly. The costs are often driven up by an aggressive opposing party or counsel, or through multiple actions being heard at the same time, sometimes even in different courts. If you find yourself in such a situation, you may not be able to completely prevent costs from rising. However, there are some steps you can take to help keep your attorney’s fees as low as possible. Here are three tips for keeping costs down in your divorce:
- Consolidate communications with your attorney. Communication between you and your attorney will be essential in your divorce. However, in many cases a client will both telephone and email their attorney several times in the course of a day. Costs can add up quickly if you do not do your part to make each communication efficient and meaningful. If time permits, plan out what questions you need answered ahead of time. Try to make a list of your questions before emailing, calling, or meeting with your attorney so that you can cover as many as possible all at one once.
- Organize your paperwork. If you already have a case filed, you should have copies of pleadings and other court-related paperwork. Arrange them in reverse chronological order and put them somewhere for safe keeping where you can quickly access them if needed. Before meeting with your attorney or answering discovery requests, spend time gathering and organizing all of your financial documents so that they are readily accessible for you to reference. Make a list of all court dates and deadlines. Mark your calendar and set reminders for yourself. When answering discovery, label the documents and reference which particular request to which each is responsive.
- Be prompt. Be early for all court appearances, to allow yourself sufficient time for passing through security and locating the appropriate court room. Be sure to provide your discovery answers and documents in advance of the deadlines so that your attorney may assist you in revising them and ensuring they are timely submitted. Be prompt for all meetings with your attorney.
The more efficient use you make of your time and the more organized you are, the better chance you’ll have at keeping attorney fees under control in your divorce.
If you are facing a separation and divorce, be sure to consult with an experienced family law attorney in your jurisdiction. The divorce lawyers at Livesay & Myers, P.C. handle divorce cases across Northern Virginia. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.