Going through a divorce can be one of the most emotionally challenging processes you face.
It can also be one of the most financially burdensome.
All experienced divorce attorneys understand these truths and, unfortunately, there are many of them who are more than willing to use them to their own financial advantage.
Truth be told, it can prove difficult to discern the good from the greedy. It is often too late once you realize the truth and the damage has been done.
At Diamond Divorce Law, we care about our Illinois family law clients like they are our own family. That’s why we’ve provided some tips you should know about the divorce process, including what can drive up costs and what you can do to reduce or eliminate unnecessary legal fees.
Tip 1: Understand Billing
First, it’s important to recognize that most divorce attorneys are paid through an hourly billing system. This means that they will bill you, the client, for each hour or part of an hour they work on your case.
The more hours they put in, the more money they earn. You will definitely be billed for each interaction you have with your attorney. Each time you speak on the phone, meet in an office or exchange an email, you WILL be billed.
Moreover, if you aren’t completely honest with regard to all of your assets from the beginning, you and your attorney will be stuck spending more time in the discovery phase as your spouse and his or her attorney are forced to hunt for (discover) the true scope of your assets. The more time your lawyer devotes to discovery, the more you end up paying.
Tip 2: Have Realistic Expectations
Coming to grips with the cost of divorce and having realistic expectations will make the entire process easier, and help you save money (and your sanity) in the long run.
The divorce process can be like a partnership dissolution. Unlike negotiation of a partnership break up, though, divorce is a negotiation of an exceedingly personal nature, often fraught with emotional challenges.
With that in mind, you must prepare yourself to engage in strong negotiations. This means not only being emotionally prepared, but also organized for the inevitable back and forth and give and take that make up the divorce process.
By being realistic, reaching an understanding as to what you really need (and are entitled to) and being mentally prepared to face what will undoubtedly be emotionally draining, you will be able to engage in productive negotiations and avoid numerous attorney billing hours on both sides.
Setting realistic expectations before negotiations begin (and being prepared for the possibility of having to make some concessions or changes to your course) will help move the process forward, which will save time and money by reaching an outcome acceptable to everyone.
Tip 3: Hire the Right Attorney
Before you do anything, you need to get some idea of what to expect. By talking to a qualified attorney, you can get some idea of what you will be entitled to and how the process works.
Throwing out the D-word (divorce) to your spouse without being prepared for the discussion may result in unnecessary hostility and an unhappy confrontation. In these initial conversations, you and your attorney can discuss the best approach moving forward to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Tip 4: Be Honest
You should always be as honest as possible with your attorney. As we mentioned earlier, by hiding assets or other aspects of the marriage, you will ultimately delay the process, costing potentially thousands of dollars down the road.
Tip 5: Prioritize Your Children
Lastly, and probably most importantly, are your children. Children bring an entirely new element into the already complex divorce process, and this often produces intense emotions.
No matter where you find yourself in your relationship with your spouse, it’s crucial that everyone put the best interests of the children first and foremost.
Putting the children first and taking care of those most vulnerable in the divorce will actually resolve some of the thorniest issues and will help you, your spouse, and the attorneys reach a quick and less costly resolution to your divorce.
Remember, never use children as tools in your conflict.
Contact Diamond Divorce Law for a Free Consultation
Virtually every divorce is costly and emotionally complex. However, by understanding how your lawyer will charge for services, setting realistic expectations for the process, being honest with your attorney, and always putting the best interest of your children first, you can ensure the best, least expensive and most satisfying outcome to your dissolution of marriage. Hire the experienced divorce lawyers at Diamond Divorce to get the divorce outcome you deserve.
DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, I always urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.