We know legal fees can become expensive very quickly. Here are some suggestions to help you minimize your legal expenses so that you can keep your case as cost effective as possible:
- Limit telephone calls: Attorneys do charge for telephone calls and emails. Therefore, repeatedly calling your attorney can get expensive fast. If you have a question or want to provide information that can wait, make a note of it and cover all of your questions in one phone call, email, or office visit.
- Leave messages: If there is information you would like to provide your attorney which does not need to be discussed immediately, leave a message.
- Read everything: It is VERY IMPORTANT that you read all documents and pleadings before you sign them. Make sure you review the documents thoroughly and check for misspellings, incorrect dates, etc. Once a document has been filed, correcting errors in the document are costly because it requires subsequent pleadings to be filed.
- Ask questions and take notes: Write down everything that you feel may be pertinent to your case. This helps to avoid repetition and overlooking important information. Don't be afraid to ask questions, if you have a question be sure to ask it.
- Assist when possible: Cases require proof and evidence. This means it will be necessary for you to provide your attorney with certain documentation and records. If you provide the attorney with the necessary records yourself, it is substantially cheaper than when your attorney had to obtain them. When providing your attorney with documents, be sure to organize them as much as possible. Also, making a chronology of significant events in your case may also be beneficial to your attorney.
- Choose your battles: Try not to fight over insignificant personal property. It can cost you more in legal fees to argue with your spouse over a particular item than the item is actually worth.
- Weigh the pros and cons: During your case you will have issues that need to be negotiated or heard before the court. At that time, you will have to ask yourself is it worth it? You will have to decide the benefit versus the cost of arguing. These costs include not only in legal fees but also disruption in your life, work, or time with your family. A court battle may be unavoidable, but being willing to compromise and getting a result that you can live with is almost always in your best interest.