Many clients tend to use their divorce attorney as a counselor rather than as a legal consultant. Attorneys are more than happy to listen to your concerns, but many of those concerns are things over which they have no control. Try not to use your divorce attorney as an emotional counselor as that will increase the hours for which the attorney will have to bill.
To the extent that you can gather information on your own, do so as much as possible. Attorneys can issue subpoenas and do discovery to get information in order to prepare the case. However, if you can obtain the bank statements or other documentation yourself, without the necessity of a subpoena, you will save a substantial amount of money. Attorneys find that clients often ask them to do many things which the clients could handle themselves. Attorneys are happy to do those things but will need to charge for them and that increases the fees.
Robert C. Howard, partner of Jekel, Howard & Thomson, LLP, has practiced family law in Arizona for more than 35 years, with concentration on prenuptual agreements, divorce, paternity, and post-decree modification matters.