Secrets A Divorce Lawyer Won’t Tell You
In the United States the high divorce rate means that there’s a lot of money to made by lawyers who know their clients have big emotions invested in their cases. Emotions can drive irrational behavior and lawyers know this creates an opportunity to make a lot of money.
So they compete hard for the business. And in any good competition, promising the best outcome for the lowest price often closes the deal. But when selling their services to a new client, it may behoove many lawyers not to impart everything that their schooling and experience has taught them. That’s partly because some of the truth is not what a client wants to hear. Also, presenting a very optimistic picture of the outcome can secure new business. Below are just a few tips frequently mentioned from experts around the country.
1. It’s going to cost more than they said.
It’s not always the case—but more often than not, the costs associated with your divorce will often be higher than your lawyer’s original estimate. Divorces with minimal conflict and a lawyer for each side frequently cost between $15,000 – $30,000. Divorces with higher conflict can quickly reach $50,000 – $100,000 per side. Before you dive in to retaining a lawyer, read on.
2. Legal costs may compel you to live frugally.
Lawyers do not want to ask, can you cut back on your life style to pay me? But you should ask that of yourself. The divorce battle will run you a few thousands a month for the duration of the process.
3. Be wary of hearing too much “yes” too soon.
Many lawyers are going to tell you what you want to hear. “We will get you everything.” “Your lifestyle will not change.” “They will pay your legal fees.” ……. all the way to signing an agreement and getting the retainer.
4. Mediation can be a game-changer
Mediation is a process whereby you and your spouse sit down with a trained and experienced neutral third party to negotiate important areas of divorce. Additionally, mediators who are licensed attorney’s in Colorado can also prepare all the legal documents needed by the court to approve your divorce. It’s a low-cost way to address most any disagreement you and your spouse may have. While the mediator’s decision is not binding, it allows a neutral party to provide their perspective on how divorce related issues should be addressed. It is also a low cost way to get professional assistance with the entire process without the cost of retaining an attorney.
5. They are hoping you won’t challenge their invoices
Generally, attorneys charge based upon an estimate how long it took them to do certain tasks in your case. This makes it difficult to challenge their bills. Additionally, expect fees per page for print, copies, faxing, postage, mileage, phone calls and even drive time to and from court. fees It adds up very quickly.
6. Retainers are only the beginning.
The initial retainer fee does not equal to the total cost of the case. The retainer is only the initial advance payment to begin working. Some lawyers will take advantage of a common misunderstanding and not discuss the actual cost to handle the case.
7. Aggressive attorneys will be more expensive.
In a contested divorce, people want a fighter in their attorney. But an overly litigious lawyer and a good lawyer are not to be confused. “Sharks” are often hired to take the most irrational positions, which deters settlements. Furthermore, if the court decides that you and your counsel are being unreasonable, you could end up paying your spouse’s legal fees as well as your own.