The cost of a divorce can be a deterrent to the process for many couples who are already struggling with the expense of maintaining two separate households. The amount of property one owns, child custody and support issues, and the extent to which a couple agrees or disagrees will determine attorney and other professional service fees (like custody evaluators) incurred during a divorce. Whether there is a large or small amount of property, issues with the children or not, or little to no agreement, there are things that you can do to reduce the cost of a divorce.
First off, take care when choosing your divorce attorney. The right attorney for your case is not always the most expensive attorney. Experience, unique technical skills, and positive relationships with the courts make for good lawyers. There are several things you should consider when choosing a lawyer and managing your case:
Attorneys’ fees are based on their experience, expertise, and special skills, but some very experienced lawyers charge reasonable fees, while others charge exorbitant fees. The hourly rates of lawyers should be competitive with their locale and market, but not excessive. A high hourly rate is not an indicator of special experience or skill.
If custody and support are issues upon which you and your spouse disagree, an attorney who does not specialize in custody may be initially less expensive, but not worth the savings in the end. Hiring an inexpensive lawyer who mismanages your child custody case will cause you heartache. Experienced attorneys know how to accomplish client goals without wasting time and money. Good custody lawyers bring good results that maintain positive family environments.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Choosing your battles during a divorce can save you time, frustration, and money. Think about your assets carefully, and listen to your lawyer’s advice about equitable division with your assigned judge. For example, don’t spend hours litigating the dining set versus the living room furniture.
Be realistic about what you want financially, and what is possible within the facts of your case. No litigant wins each and every issue, and the courts strive to be equitable. Experienced lawyers have a general sense of how certain judges allocate marital estates.
Author’s note: The Law Offices of Michael F Roe has established a record of success with complex child custody cases, as well as a high degree of financial acumen with complex property issues. All of this experience is afforded to clients at a reasonable hourly rate. Please contact Michael Roe directly at (630) 232-2400 for to discuss your important case. www.illinois-attorney.net