Tips to Reduce Legal Fees in DivorceMarybeth Sampsel
Divorce in Montana is expensive. Not only are people suddenly living on half their previous income, but suddenly they are expected to begin paying attorneys fees. But I will let you in on a secret. As much as I like to get paid, I would prefer a prepared client who makes the work easy and for whom I can keep expenses low. Here are a few tips that will help keep your divorce lawyer’s bill as low as possible:
- Be prepared to supply relevant financial documents, including bank and financial statements, tax returns, mortgage applications, loan documents and credit card bills.
- Do not fight over assets that are of limited value. It simply does not make sense to litigate and run up huge legal bills that will dwarf the value of the assets you may recover.
- Pick your battles and remember: moral victories cost money. You may want to be proven right or vindicated, but if it does not advance your case, consider conserving your resources.
- Recognize that when you communicate with your divorce lawyer, the meter is running. When you call your attorney, do it from a room where you will not be interrupted and can talk openly. And do not take other telephone calls while speaking with your attorney, unless you want to pay for her to sit and wait.
- Be candid with your attorney. In litigation, lies and falsehoods are always discovered.
- Don’t litigate to be vindictive. This is a sure path to large legal fees.
In the end, if you want to keep your bills low: be prepared, professional, reasonable, and honest. But remember, the biggest wildcard in any Montana divorce case is your spouse.