Divorce can be stressful enough without the additional burden of being expensive. But your divorce doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here are a few small things you can do to keep divorce costs down. They may also relieve some stress in the process.
Multiple emails are hard to keep track of and keep up with. When sending emails to your lawyer, consider consolidating all of your thoughts and questions into one message.
This is not to discourage you from sending emails altogether. Rather, it’s to encourage you to include as much information in one email as you possibly can.
If you have a lot of divorce-related questions, thoughts, or ideas, it may be helpful to create a section in the notes app on your phone to jot down things as they come up. Then, at the end of the day, you can email everything that you have written in your notes.
One email per day to your lawyer or divorce coach should be sufficient. Although you may feel antsy waiting on a response or waiting for an endorsed copy of a document from the court, try to avoid sending emails to “check in” or check on the status of something. Remember, your lawyer will notify you if anything comes up.
Much like emails, multiple calls to a lawyer or divorce coach are hard to keep up with and should be limited.
Calls are useful, especially when trying to explain or better understand something complex or complicated regarding your divorce case. With calls, it is best to prepare a list of questions or thoughts you would like to share that you can refer to during the call. This helps keep conversations with your lawyer on track.
Take advantage of practice management systems or applications.
Many family law offices use apps or cloud-based web platforms to streamline, organize, and create tasks for your case. Applications such as My Case or Clio give divorce clients the opportunity to review their forms and invoices, upload important documentation, schedule meetings with their lawyer, message their lawyer, comment on a document, and review correspondence sent to and from the opposing lawyer or party.
The more you use these resources, the less likely you will need periodic “check-in” calls. You will also feel a whole lot more in control of your case.
Trust your lawyer.
Your lawyer is experienced and well-versed in all things related to divorce. After all, this is their specialty, and it’s why you hired them in the first place.
After something has been drafted and given to you for review, try to avoid making copious suggestions, adjustments, or modifications unless you strongly believe the change is absolutely necessary. While a change might be small to you, it may take a lot of time to add your change and make sure that it flows and matches the overall tone.
TMI (too much information) is actually good.
When your lawyer asks you to fill out an intake packet that asks how much you contributed to community property/assets or about the amount of time you spend with your child(ren), the more specific and accurate you can be, the better. It will save your lawyer time, and it will save you money.
As mundane as it may seem, all of this information is important, down to the penny or the minute. When filling out an intake packet or financial intake packet, be as thorough as you can. Even if you feel your answers are repetitive, insignificant, or mundane, know that they are not. In fact, they are extremely helpful.
If your lawyer has to constantly ask you to clarify or be more specific about something on your intake form, this will add up in the end. Your lawyer can do a lot more with “too much” information than they can with “not enough.” In this case, more is more.