Faster, better, cheaper. A great service or product can incorporate two of these qualities, but not all three. It’s no secret that retaining legal council is expensive. And chances are the more a family law firm charges, the better equipped it is to resolve legal issues quickly. But there are always multiple possibilities when it comes to family law, and paying even the highest retainer fee cannot guarantee that your ex will corporate during the divorce process. Similarly, there are ways to minimize legal costs and still receive quality legal representation.
Hire a family lawyer that is willing to resolve issues out of court
Having to attend court to resolve child custody or spousal support issues is where costs can really add up. At Shulman Law Firm, we focus on identifying areas where we can actually save you money, and we always look for ways to solve disputes outside of court. Remember, it is much cheaper use a lawyer to negotiate a settlement than it is to use that same lawyer to conduct litigation in court.
Hire a mediator early on
Hiring another professional may sound costly, but mediators can definitely save you money and time in the long run. Unlike family lawyers, you and your ex will share the mediator. Furthermore, both of you have shared control over the outcome of any resolutions made through mediation. Keep in mind that mediation works best when both you are your ex are willing to speak with and listen to each other.
Work with your ex to finalize the divorce
You don’t have to be friends, but if you and your ex can keep anger and resentment to a minimum, and work together instead of fighting each other, the time and money you spend on your divorce will be drastically reduced.
Request assistance from a law clerk
A lawyer can complete some complex jobs more quickly than a law clerk, but more routine tasks would not be as cost effective if done at higher hourly rate. Let your lawyer know you are comfortable with their law clerk taking a lead role on simpler tasks.
Stay on top of paper work
If you’re proceeding with a divorce, you will be asked to organize and submit a variety of documents, including your marriage certificate, financial statements, and income tax returns, to your lawyer or law clerk. Ensure that you are providing the correct information to them (i.e. making sure your tax returns are from the correct years) in a timely manner so they do not have to bill you more for having to send additional reminders, or having to do the work over again.
Don’t use your lawyer as a therapist
It’s impossible to always be calm and rational when going through a divorce. It’s normal to want to rant and let feelings out. But don’t make a habit of using your lawyer as a therapist. They do charge based on time, and their time is best spent providing you with legal guidance, not emotional guidance.
Separation and Divorce can be a difficult and uncertain time. Our team of Toronto family lawyers is dedicated to relentlessly pursue our clients’ interests, and getting exceptional results. Contact us for a free consultation.