The easiest way to keep your legal bills under control, believe it or not, is to talk to your spouse. The more issues that the two of you can work out yourselves, the more things you can agree on, the less you will pay in legal fees. The more you fight, the longer your divorce will take, and the more it will cost. It`s that simple.
Of course, not everyone who is going through a divorce can still talk to their spouse. If that’s the situation you are in, know from the start that your divorce is going to be more expensive than it would be if the two of you could make your own agreement. That being said, you can still keep your legal fees down by not making every argument you have with your spouse into a reason to run into court and ask the judge to enter a court order requiring your spouse to do whatever it is that you think s/he should be doing.
Every time your lawyer goes to court, it costs you money. Every time s/he writes a letter, or drafts a motion or other court document, it costs you money. If you want to minimize your attorney’s fees, minimize the work you are asking the lawyer to do. If you want to fight, and you hire an attorney who is a real fighter, you’re going to pay a lot of money to get divorced. Maybe that’s worth it to you. Maybe in the end you’ll end up with more money than you would have had if you’d tried to resolve everything amicably. Maybe not. Either way, you’ll pay the price.
Karen A. Covy, J.D. is a divorce attorney and family law mediator in Chicago Illinois . She is the author of When Happily Ever After Ends, How to Survive Your Divorce Emotionally, Financially and Legally.