Public School Financing The Most Important Issue In Texas Today So Can I Really Get a Divorce For $399 – How to Select a Cost-Effective Matrimonial Lawyer

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So Can I Really Get a Divorce For $399 – How to Select a Cost-Effective Matrimonial Lawyer

Today the ad promises a $399 divorce. Is such a thing even remotely possible? Probably not. For starters, the costs in New York state court alone will be over $300. However, you can also easily obtain the forms you need to process a divorce from your local county clerk’s office or the New York State Court Administration website. So, if you have no conflicting issues in your divorce, a cooperative spouse, and a willingness to do the paperwork, your total cost will not exceed $400 (including subway or bus fare back and forth).

This article is for those of you who need to hire a lawyer, or have one

Competition cases, complex property or child custody cases that require the expertise of a family law specialist, or you simply want someone to act for you. And, if this is your situation, it should come as no surprise that you’re unlikely to get much in the way of personal service or representation for $399.

The good news is, if you are prudent and sensible (and your spouse is too), it may be possible to secure a divorce without spending a fortune. This means you can work anywhere from $1,500 (in the simplest, most “uncontested”) to $10,000 (in more complex cases). However, I cannot stress, keeping your costs in this range will only be possible if neither you nor your spouse is out for compromise or blood.

Here’s a list of dos and don’ts designed to get you there:

(1) Choose your lawyer carefully.

Make sure it’s someone whose personality and demeanor are a good fit for you, and who has the legal knowledge and insight necessary to tailor his or her recommendations to meet your needs. A lawyer may wow you with his personality, legal knowledge, oratorical skills or promises in the initial consultation, but if he or she can’t listen to you or refuses, you will pay the price later.

(2) Maintain civil, preferably, cordial communication with your ex-spouse.

Sometimes the only way to contain legal costs in a multi-issue divorce is to negotiate a settlement directly with your spouse, and then have lawyers draft the settlement. After all, establishing a post-nuptial civil relationship with your spouse as soon as possible, especially where children are involved, can help compromise, reduce resentment, reduce anxiety, and most importantly, reduce legal costs.

(3) Be prepared to compromise.

Parties often lament their spouse’s inability to be reasonable, but are often unwilling to compromise themselves. If you are confident that your settlement offer is so reasonable that no one can refuse it, you have either made too generous a first offer or you are currently unable to weigh the equities in a balanced manner. Perhaps it’s the latter.

(4) Be aware of what is most important to your spouse.

This does not mean that you have to accept exactly what he or she wants. But accept the fact that a compromise will only be possible, if you are flexible enough to compromise on one or more issues that are important to your spouse. At the same time, it’s unrealistic to expect to win every issue you consider important to you.

(5) Avoid anti-motion exercises at all costs.

In some cases, it may be impossible to resolve an interim issue that requires immediate attention without filing a motion, for example, issues such as temporary support or a spouse’s refusal to disclose important financial information. In that case, you will have little choice but to file a motion with the court. However, if you must take this course, be prepared to incur legal fees that will almost certainly exceed $10,000 (the cost of filing a motion can be that much or more). And further, note that if you go this route, you may raise your case in such an adversarial pitch that the cost literally multiplies.

(6) Never tell yourself that you would rather pay your lawyer than your spouse.

You can pay for both. It’s a strategy that only makes sense when your partner’s expectations are sky high and unlikely to come down to earth anytime soon. In addition, the court may ultimately view you as an indigent party, in which case you may also be ordered to pay your spouse’s legal fees.

(7) Help your attorney do his job for you whenever possible.

Most legal clients today are educated consumers, which goes without saying that it’s wise to help your attorney work more effectively for you. But, if you’re allergic to paperwork, pathologically disorganized, or don’t want to be so directly involved in a painful exam, you’ll pay a premium. Almost all divorce attorneys charge by the hour, and many areas of divorce practice are inherently time consuming. On the other hand, if you spend hours explaining something to your lawyer that he can understand from the documents, you will achieve the opposite of your objective.

(8) Realistically evaluate costs with your attorney on an ongoing basis.

To do this effectively you need to know both the scope and underlying rationale for the steps your attorney is proposing. It is not enough for your lawyer to know the plans to start by preparing the summons and complaint. You need to know what this means and whether it will require a few hours or a few days of legal work.

(9) Do not litigate child-related cases.

If you and your spouse cannot mutually resolve custody and visitation of your child(ren), you will not have a chance to avoid substantial legal costs. This means that unless your children are put at risk, you will have to compromise on schedules and custody labels if you want or need to control costs. It’s not always easy advice to follow. Often, one or both parties mistakenly view parenting as a battleground for control or financial gain over their spouse. If this is the case, you will have a very difficult time avoiding costly litigation.

conclusion

If you can avoid these nine pitfalls, you stand a better chance of avoiding burying yourself in legal costs, even if that doesn’t mean a $399 divorce.

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