As an experienced Long Island Divorce lawyer I am well aware that most clients, potential clients and even those not considering a divorce are bombarded with horror stories about how much money their friends, family and colleagues in Nassau County and Suffolk County spent financing their divorces.
To be completely honest, in very complex or unusual cases, there are times when incurring legal fees in the tens of thousands of dollars is unavoidable; however, this is the rare occurrence. Most individuals who spend that type of money during their Divorce have bitter custody battles, are unable to settle with their spouse or have a large amount of assets which need to be appraised or valued. These cases require divorce attorneys and their staff to spend hours upon hours to resolve the cases to their client’s satisfaction. Of course, most divorces are nothing like those described above. Below you will find some important tips to help keep your legal fees under control.
1. When You Speak to Your Long Island Divorce Lawyer, He or She is “On the Clock”. Attorneys are paid based upon the time they work on your case. Most attorneys charge in 15-minute increments. The way to keep your legal fees down is to reduce the amount of time your attorney has to spend on your case. Always start any contact with your divorce attorney on Long Island with the assumption that you are “On the Clock”, and be sure you relay only information that is both important and vital to your divorce lawyer in Nassau County or Suffolk County to know right then and there.
2. Do Not Listen to Everything your Spouse Tells You. Almost every day a client will call my office and the conversation will begin with something like this: “My spouse told me…” or “My spouse said his/her attorney said…” I immediately know where the conversation is going. My client spoke to their spouse who is angry and bitter about the divorce and their spouse is feeding them false or otherwise inaccurate information to get a rise out of them. And it works.
After listening to the information presented by my client, my usual response is simply “That is not how the law works.” Unfortunately, you have now spent anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes on the phone. If the phone call then requires a letter or follow up phone call to opposing counsel requesting my client’s spouse cease this behavior, my client could be on the hook for another 15 minutes.
If your spouse is angry about the divorce, take what they say at face value. The only person you should be listening to throughout your divorce is your divorce lawyer on Long Island. He or she will inform you of everything you need to know, including the correct state of the law. In other words, don’t jump on the phone to call your attorney every time your spouse says something to get a rise out of you.
3. Attempt to have at Least the Bare Bones of an Agreement with your Spouse. A lot of attorney time is spent negotiating a settlement with opposing counsel. Opposing counsel is trying to get the best deal for his or her client. Good attorneys on Long Island do not purposely “run up” legal fees on their clients, but to protracted negotiations, which take time, and cost money.
If you and your spouse agree on the main issues such as who will have custody of the children and who still stay in the marital residence, the time divorce attorneys spend negotiating can be cut drastically, thereby saving you money. Of course, if this is not possible due to your relationship with your spouse, your Long Island divorce lawyer will fight zealously to protect your rights. It’s best, and cheapest, if you can come to agreement with your spouse before involving the attorneys and save your attorney’s time for real legal work.
4. Remember, your Long Island Divorce Attorney’s goal is to Protect Your Interests. While I care about the wellbeing of each and every one of my clients, my main goal is to protect their interests while ensuring they experience the least amount of emotional distress and discomfort.
It’s a fact that couples fight. Couples who are divorcing fight even more. While I know it is tempting to call your divorce attorney each time your spouse gets under your skin, take a few minutes to clear your head before you pick up the phone while you’re still upset. Your Long Island divorce lawyer does need to be made aware of situations which occur; however, it is in your best interest to do so when you can think clearly and are not “in the moment”. You do not want to keep your divorce attorney on the phone for 45 minutes because you are upset, when the same incident could be relayed later in the day in a five minute phone call for which you may not be charged.
In my experience, divorces on Long Island are emotional; however, your divorce attorney on Long Island’s bill does not need to reflect that. If you keep Point 1 above in mind at all times you can do a lot yourself to keep the legal bills for your Long Island divorce under your control.
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To learn more about what you need to know about How Much a Divorce Costs and how to get help to protect yourself and your future, visit this page: https://divorce-longisland.com/divorce-cost/ For more information about how to keep your legal fees down, contact an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer. Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., PC and his compassionate and experienced divorce lawyers can help. Call us at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary, confidential consultation or fill out the short form on this page and we’ll get right back to you
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