Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tips for Saving Attorney's Fees

Peggy Roston, who writes the Alaska Divorce Blog, recently had a brief post with some excellent common sense ways to cut down on attorney's fees. Most people going through a divorce or other family law issue are interested in conserving their funds and not over-spending for the attorneys. Here are Peggy's ideas:

"Divorce litigation is extremely expensive. Your attorney will charge you for the time he or she spends writing and responding to letters, emails, and motions. Some of the time your attorney has to spend on your case is unavoidable. But there are a few things that you can do to help your attorney handle your case in a cost-effective manner.

"• Communicate by e-mail rather than by telephone. Telephone calls tend to be more expensive because of the pleasantries exchanged before you and your attorney get down to business.

"• Keep your e-mails short and to the point. Your attorney may receive hundreds e-mails a day. If you keep your emails short and to the point, your attorney can respond quickly to the issue you have raised without having to wade through a lengthy email.

"• Organize your financial documents before you give them to your attorney. Parties in a divorce case must exchange tax returns, credit card statements, brokerage statements, bank statements, and personal property lists. Respond promptly to your attorney’s request for financial information. If you have personal or work time-constraints, I suggest you call your attorney to ask for a referral to a financial professional who can help you out. Having organized financial documents can save you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees or paralegal fees and can keep your case moving forward."

In general, clients can save money by controlling their urge to call up their attorney to discuss every issue that comes up. It also helps to save money when clients take on as much of the preparation as they are competent to do. Gathering and organizing records is vitally important and can result in a signifcant saving of money.

Has anyone else come up with good ideas on how to save attorney's fees? Please send your comments with suggestions.

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