I know from the many people I speak with, that the monthly statement from their family lawyer’s office seems to be the last piece of mail to get opened. It’s not like you are running to your mail to see if it is there. And, the questions you ask yourself as you open the statement can make you anxious. Are there enough funds in the retainer to cover this bill? Do I need to submit additional money? Why can’t I keep the bills down? Why does the bill add up to so much so quickly? Why? Why? Why?
Instead of asking yourself why, utilize the how to strategies to keep your legal costs down, while maintaining control over what is going on in your file.
Cost saving tips to help keep that family lawyer affordable:
Maximize your meeting time
- Take notes.
- Have an agenda ready, with all items and issues to be discussed.
- Make a list of questions you would like to discuss, organized by topic or issue.
- Schedule your meetings through your family lawyer’s assistant.
- Do any follow-up work the family lawyer gives you (reviewing documents, contacting a specific specialist, and so forth), and make sure it is done in a timely manner.
Make all communications cost effective
- Save up your questions. Don’t call or e-mail your family lawyer every single time you have an inquiry.
- Check with your family lawyer first and find out how he or she likes to handle communications–via e-mail, phone calls, or meetings with prepared agendas.
- Also ask for recommendations on making your communications more efficient.
Provide as much written information as possible
- Many family lawyers have their clients write out an account of their marital history.
- Ask your family lawyer if this is what should be done.
Use your family lawyer’s services cost effectively
- Listen to your family lawyer and take notes.
- Remember, if you want to vent and complain about your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the meter is still running.
- If you are able to, do certain tasks, such as filling out the financial statement, yourself.
- Don’t micromanage (pay extreme attention to the small details of) your case. This only causes your legal bills to escalate and slows down the process.
- And, if there is something that doesn’t make sense to you, ask your family lawyer.
Tune in to this very informative program on Divorce Source Radio.
Our guest on The Smart Divorce radio, Mark Baer is a family law lawyer, family mediator, and collaborative law practitioner and has been practicing for twenty years. He received a great deal of media attention regarding his opinions that the family law system in the United States destroys families and his views on better and more constructive ways of handling such matters. His articles have appeared in Forbes, The Los Angeles Daily Journal and Valley Lawyer Magazine. Columnists from the Pasadena Star-News, the Los Angeles, Times and other newspapers use Mark as a resource for their columns.
Problem-solving is a hallmark of a good family lawyer. We explore this outlook and learn what you need to consider when looking for a family lawyer.
Topics in this Podcast include:
- How to go about selecting the proper lawyer?
- Should you hire the first family lawyer you visit or shop around for a lawyer?
- What to expect in your initial consultation with a prospective lawyer
- Questions to ask a potential lawyer
- Watch for family lawyers who bring you in with unreasonable expectations or perpetuate conflict
- We’ll discuss Mediation and Arbitration. Are they the less confrontational form or divorce?
- What is a problem solving family lawyer
- Finding your problem-solving family lawyer
- How to look for a family mediator that’s right for you
- Problems with family lawyers and the legal system
To listen in click on this link
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