Divorce can be an expensive process. When you factor in the costs associated with rearranging your finances, separating your marital life, and then rebuilding anew, it can be overwhelming to your bank account. One way to really control costs during the New Jersey divorce process is hire an attorney dedicated to efficiency and then establish a relationship based on realistic expectations and professionalism.
Do your research to find a good New Jersey divorce attorney. The right attorney will work efficiently and will have a clear and fair billing policy. Be careful to not based your decision on attorney fees. While you may pay a bit more for a good attorney, he can save you thousands in legal fees by moving the process forward, filing paperwork correctly, and negotiating with your best interests in mind. Remember “you get what you pay for.”
While you search for a divorce attorney, educate yourself about the divorce process. A good attorney should always be more than happy to explain any part of your divorce to you, and use language you can easily understand. However, after the initial consultation you will be paying for this education so it is better to do some preliminary research on your own. I have filled my website with information to help you at every point in the process. Make sure to check back often as we are continually adding new information.
You will save a tremendous amount of money by getting and staying organized. Your divorce attorney should give you a list of required documents and information that you can gather. Ideally your lawyer will also be able to recommend tips and techniques to stay organized during the divorce process. This many include keeping a calendar and developing a filing system for important documentation should you need to reference it in the future.
Your attorney needs to bill you for every time you speak, after all, it is how they make their living. As you go through the process make a list of questions and have a set time to communicate them with your lawyer. Do not call the office every single time you have a question, but do communicate with your attorney about the case and involve them when necessary.
Negotiate with your spouse on your own if possible. Having attorneys negotiate for you is expensive. Take a look at the list of issues to be decided and see if you can come up with a strategy to work through them, maybe even just on a preliminary level. This can be done via email with your ex, or if you are civil over a meal in a restaurant. Discuss these preliminary discussions with your attorney both before and after they occur to make sure they are realistic and legally sound.
Rethink about your desire to “have your day in court.” While you may feel that you need the court’s stamp of approval on how horrible your spouse is, dragging them through the mud will take both a psychological and financial toll on your life.
Don’t hide things from your attorney. Give your attorney a complete picture of the state of your financial affairs and answer any questions s/he may have as honestly and fully as possible. Failing to do so can have severe financial and future legal repercussions if you were not honest from the start. Untangling the omissions (intentional or not) can take time, cost you credibility with the court, and cost you money defending yourself.
Pay very close attention to requests and deadlines. If you need to provide information or make a decision by a certain date, make sure to have a plan to get it done. Additionally, consider any dates and deadlines set by the court as cemented in stone and not to be postponed or forgotten.
The legal bills of your divorce do not have to be quite as substantial as you may think. Finding aggressive, honest, and efficient legal counsel will help keep your costs low and your divorce moving forward. At the Law Offices of Edward R. Weinstein we pride ourselves on helping our clients through the divorce process in the most cost effective way possible. Please call us today at (732) 246-0909 to schedule your free consultation.