The popular notion about divorces is that they are very expensive. While this can be true, the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are here to attempt to dispel this notion at least as it pertains to divorces with our office.
With your finances in flux it would be for the best to limit the costs associated with getting the actual divorce.
It isn’t always possible to control the costs of a divorce as much as you would like but there are ways to increase your chances at doing so. This blog will discuss some tips that our attorneys have seen work for many former clients.
Figure out the issues that need to be sorted out in the divorce
By time you hire a Houston divorce attorney it would benefit you a great deal if you had already figured out what the issues are that you and your spouse cannot agree on.
This way you can give yourself an opportunity to limit the time and money spent on hammering out agreements on the lawyer’s time. Why pay a lawyer to sort out an issue if you can do it on your own time? If you keep your divorce lawyer busy your bill will also be busy- going up and up.
Do not make shortsighted decisions
This is a piece of advice that I think we could all apply to our personal lives as well. A divorce is (I will ask your pardon in advance of the following analogy) a marathon and not a sprint. Much of the advice your attorney gives you is based on their knowledge that by doing certain actions at certain times you can make strategic decisions that can minimize costs down the line.
Sometimes though clients will ignore advice and make shortsighted decisions based on the “now” rather than the “later”. An example of this was a client of mine who in his divorce case chose to mediate with the (almost) free mediators with the county where his divorce was filed rather than with a private mediator.
Now, admittedly, he was going through tough financial times when he made this decision. However, I would counter that just about every person going through a divorce is going through difficult money times.
This client went against my advice to mediate with an attorney in order to save something like $250. My advice was based on the low likelihood that the county provided mediator would help settle his divorce. It took this gentleman an additional 3 months to finally settle his divorce case.
Those are three months where he could have avoided paying a lawyer and used that money to contribute to his savings or another worthwhile venture. The bottom line: the client is always in control of the decisions made in their case, but it pays to listen to your attorney on strategic issues.
Avoid conflict with your spouse
It is not surprising that most people going through a divorce are doing so because there is conflict in the marriage. If you find yourself on the verge of getting a divorce then you know exactly how easy it is to walk into an argument that escalates very quickly. While it is satisfying to call your spouse a name or let off some steam by making a snarky comment, in the long run it is not going to get you another minute with your child or save you a dollar in lawyer fees.
At all costs, avoid litigation. A favorite quote of mine was stated eloquently by Abraham Lincoln. That quote is as follows and is directed towards attorneys:
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser -- in fees, expenses and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
Essentially, Honest Abe is counseling against pushing disagreements into the courtroom in order to solve the problem. Seeking an alternative dispute method is almost always the better method. I’ll conclude this section by telling you, the reader, what I tell clients that I work with in regard to taking a disagreement to a temporary orders hearing or trial.
I’ve walked out of the courtroom after a contentious day in court with people that have fared well, and others that have been less fortunate. The bottom line is that their first comment after we exit the courtroom, win or lose, is usually, “I’m glad that’s over with.” Avoid the headaches associated with litigation, let cooler heads prevail and work out a resolution outside the courtroom.
Control your emotions, Don’t let your emotions control you
Our final piece of advice goes in tandem with the prior piece of advice regarding avoiding conflict. In a divorce it is impossible to completely separate your emotions from the case. Your spouse is someone you have loved (and in many cases still do). If you feel like your spouse has wronged you the tendency is to seek to even the score by addressing that wrong head on.
If your goal is to fight for truth and justice in your divorce, your motivation is way off. You will not, most likely, receive the sort of satisfaction that you seek. In all likelihood, letting your emotions chart the course of your divorce will result in your attorney’s fee going up but no increase in your happiness or benefit to your children. If you can keep your emotions in check and work with your attorney to make rational decisions your pocketbook and family will benefit.
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan: Cost Conscious Counselors
While no lawyer can guarantee a game plan to limit costs, there certainly are methods and strategies that can increase the chances of your divorce not costing an arm and a leg. The Houston divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan encourage clients to follow a course that leads divorcing parties towards dispute resolution and cost minimization. To learn more about our office please contact us to set up an in person, free of charge consultation.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.