When it becomes clear that your marriage is over, and no amount of pretense or counseling can fix what is broken, you'll need to line up an attorney to represent you in the divorce process. At this extremely vulnerable time, you'll be placing your life and your future in your attorney's hands, and you'll add one more worry to your ample list of stresses – the high cost of divorce!
Attorneys usually charge an hourly rate calculated in 15-minute increments – even if the service takes only a minute or two of his time. That "quick little call" you make to your lawyer could cost you from $50 and up. If you succumb to the temptation to call every day, your monthly charge just for phone calls can run well over $1,000. If the process drags on for a year, you'll pay $12,000 and up just for those brief daily calls!
Here are ten simple steps for saving big bucks over the course of separation and divorce; some of the tips are general and can be applied to other legal situations as well.
One last word about maintaining control of your legal expenses: request itemized monthly bills from your attorney. Knowing just how your legal dollars are being spent can be the most effective aid in helping you keep them to a reasonable minimum!
Linda C. Senn is author of Your Pocket Divorce Guide and co-author with Mary Stuart, M.A. of The Divorce Recovery Journal.
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