How to Keep Divorce and Lawyer Fees Down
Going through a divorce is a painful and stressful process, not just emotionally, but also financially. It could cost you more to get divorced than it did to get married in the first place, which is why a lot of people end up with copious amounts of debt in fees owed to their divorce lawyers after it has been finalised. Here is how you can save on legal fees by following four simple steps.
Limit Time Spent with Your Lawyer
First off, you need know exactly how your divorce lawyer is charging you for their services. Lawyers usually ask for a lump sum, even before they start on your case. This is then used to fund all services and tasks needed for your case.
If this amount is finished, you will then be expected to pay as you go. In a lot of divorce cases, there are small tasks that could be done by you. If your lawyer requires documentation that you can easily get access to, rather do it yourself and save on lawyer fees. Remember, every second spent on your divorce case, including every phone call and email, will get billed by your lawyer.
Do a DIY-Divorce
If you and your spouse are lucky enough to be on good terms, and can sit around a table together, you could potentially get divorced without involving lawyers. Simply contact the court to obtain the paperwork for self-represented parties, and inquire about how to schedule your divorce on the judges roll. It is advised to read up on the “DIY-divorce” process, and possibly contact a divorce lawyer to find out everything you need for this to work.
Paying a divorce lawyer a small consultation fee is a lot better than getting stuck with a few thousand in divorce fees.
It is All About Negotiation
During a divorce, you are almost certainly going to have to negotiate. People tend to get emotional about their divorce, and refuse to negotiate, letting the court case, and your divorce fees, drag out as a result. No one walks out of a divorce a winner. In fact, getting a divorce in the first place means you are losing someone who was once very precious to you.
Be open to negotiating with your spouse and their lawyer. Divorce is a give and take, so be sure to keep an open mind, and do not let the divorce proceedings drag on longer than needed.
Narrow It Down
List all of the issues you and your spouse have, and see if some of them can be agreed on without a lawyer. For example, you and your spouse might be able to divide your goods without needing a divorce lawyer to do so, thus saving costs. If there are issues that you cannot agree on with your spouse, only be prepared to take those to court.
No divorce is the same, which is why we take extra time to get to know you and your needs. At Riëtte Oosthuizen Attorneys, we do not add unnecessary fees to your bill. We believe in building a trusting and long-lasting relationship with our clients, which is why we are happy to answer any divorce related questions; It is as easy as giving us a call.