Arizona Divorce Lawyer, John C. Belt
How to Keep Legal Fees Low
Regardless of which fee structure is used and regardless of which family law attorney you hire, there are several things that you can do to lower your “total legal fee.”
- Fill out all paperwork for your attorney completely and accurately. If you fail to provide your attorney complete paperwork, then you require the attorney to spend time finding out essential information that you could have provided yourself.
- Bring in ALL of the documents that your attorney requests from you. When your lawyer requests documents, it’s usually because you’re under an obligation to give them to the other side, or they’re necessary to establish your legal right to something you need. Organize the documents as completely as possible. Use tables of contents, summaries, and charts to further organize the information contained in the documents. Organizing and analyzing documents in a family law or divorce case is one of the most time-consuming pieces of the representation. Saving attorney time with documents saves the client money.
- Only communicate with the attorney over the most important issues. Let go of some of the more mundane issues. Keep your communications to a minimum whenever possible. Most family law attorneys believe that e-mails are a much more efficient way to communicate with client about simple issues. E-mail usually provides a concise and constructive answer that can also be referred back to by the client again and again. E-mails often take less than six minutes to read and respond to. The cost of your communications with your attorney is simple math: At $250 per hour, two 18-minute phone calls a week over a 20-week case will cost the client a total of $3,000 for the phone calls alone. One 6-minute e-mail exchange a week over that same 20-week case will only cost $500 — the client saves $2,500!
- Minimize your legal expenses at the beginning of the divorce. This way you will have money available to pay for the preparation of your trial or other contested hearing if disputes develop as the case goes on. The preparation and presentation of your case should not be an area that is short-changed because the client has spent all of his or her money earlier in the case with numerous phone calls and letters. If your family law attorney is writing a high number of letters or making a high number of phone calls on your case, ask them to keep them to a minimum.
- Review your monthly statement. Depending on fee structure, you should be receiving a monthly bill or accounting of your fees. Review it carefully and discuss any questions with your attorney immediately. Don’t be afraid to question the attorney about your legal fees, including revising and updating any estimates for future work.
Scottsdale family law attorney, John Belt uses a combination of hourly fee structures, flat fee structures, payment plans, and his own cutting-edge, hybrid fee structures to find the fee arrangement that will best fit your circumstances and the demands of your case. Mr. Belt has found that his hybrid fee structure has saved his clients an average of over 25 percent on their total legal fees. Please feel free to discuss the fee structure that best suits your needs. If helpful to you and your family, our Arizona divorce law firm accepts most major credit cards.