Tips for Managing Your Attorney’s Fees in a Divorce or Parentage Case

Attorneys have a reputation for being expensive. Many potential clients ask us to give them a “ball park” estimate as to how much their case will cost. This is nearly impossible for any attorney to predict because there are so many moving parts involved in each case, which can significantly impact the final cost. There are ways, however, for potential clients to try and manage their attorney’s fees and costs so that they are receiving the best possible representation and maximizing their funds.
The first “tip” is to always respond to your attorney in a timely fashion. Your attorney will likely ask you to review pleadings, discovery, send discovery and more. If you respond to your attorney in a timely manner then they don’t have to “chase you down” for a response. Anytime an attorney has to contact you there is typically cost involved. Staying on top of your case and on top of the tasks your attorney asks you to complete will maximize your representation and minimize your cost.
A second “tip” is to turn over discovery as completely and as quickly as you can, in an organized fashion. If you turn over documents that are organized in a way that the attorney can quickly review them, you are cutting down on time being billed to do same. Additionally, like the first tip above, if your attorneys don’t have to chase you down to obtain these documents you are automatically prevented from spending money for your attorney to ask you for compliance.
Finally, a third “tip” is to listen to your attorney. This might sound like a silly “tip”, but there is an art to this. When your attorney calls you there is a purpose and that purpose is not to find out every horrible thing your ex-spouse has done over the past few years. Your attorney calls you for a specific reason. Be the listener and listen to what your attorney is asking you, and then stay on track and respond to only what you are being asked. This will minimize phone conversation time and also minimize your bill. If you spend a lot of time on the phone with your lawyer talking about issues that are not relevant to the case or the current proceedings, then you are spending money on attorney’s fees that could be put to better use in your case.
There are always aspects of a case that can drive up cost that litigants and attorneys do not have control over; however, these three tips can help potential clients take control over the cost of specific aspects of their case.

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