Family law matters can be expensive, both financially and emotionally, and most clients are understandably concerned about the costs involved. The emotional crisis that you may be experiencing can aggravate your financial situation if you permit it to increase your attorney’s fees. However, you are capable of reducing your fees by following these simple guidelines:
- Remember the high cost of telephone calls. As a general rule, call the paralegal assigned to your case first. If legal advice or intervention is needed immediately, he or she is trained to recognize it and will know what steps to take. You will find that most often the paralegal is capable of handling the problem or answering your questions immediately. It may be helpful for you to keep personal notes regarding questions that enter your mind. Reserve your telephone call until you have thought about what it is you really need to know on more than one issue. You may further wish to address your concerns in writing or by e-mail, which will allow you to organize your thoughts.
- Remember that our services are primarily legal. Certainly our office needs to understand the nature of your interaction with your spouse, former spouse or significant other. Also, unless you are thinking clearly, you may be inclined to make some decisions that could ultimately be extremely costly to you. For those reasons, some time might be spent with you exploring this interaction, especially at the beginning of the case. However, at some point, you sharing your experiences and problems with us may fail to generate a return worth the added costs that will appear on your monthly statement. You may find that counseling is a more appropriate forum for addressing these emotional concerns.
- Participate as effectively as you can in your case. Your time will be less expensive to you than ours. Therefore, we will request that you obtain and organize as much of the information and documents for your case as possible, consistent with expeditious handling. For example, you may receive a “Demand for Documents” containing a long list of documents that must be provided to the opposing party. If you simply bring us a confusing, unorganized mass of various documents, an attorney or paralegal will have to organize them, and you will pay the full hourly rate for these services. You are far more familiar than we are with your production of documents and will know which documents you are producing in response to which demand. Any questions you have regarding the method of organization will gladly be answered by our staff, and this is one area in that you can save yourself considerable fees.