Wondering where you can find an affordable divorce lawyer? Here's what you need to know, from attorney-mediator Diana Mercer, the co-author of "Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life". Have questions? Ask in the comments.
Maybe it’s possible to find an affordable divorce lawyer. Maybe it isn’t. I think it’s more important to think about what you can do to streamline your case and reduce your legal fees, no matter what the price point. After 24 years of practice, here are my best tips to keep your bill down:
ￂﾷ Be prepared, and be organized. If your lawyer asks you to fill out a form or find some documents, do it promptly. Get a notebook and some divider tabs, and make your own copies.
ￂﾷ Use your lawyer for legal questions only. Write your questions down so that you’re only talking to or emailing your lawyer maximum once per week, not every time something pops into your head. Write down your lawyer’s answers and put them in your notebook, and print out and save the emails.
ￂﾷ If you’re struggling emotionally with your divorce, don’t call your lawyer. Call your therapist, clergy, best friend, or all 3. Just don’t call your lawyer.
ￂﾷ Use self-help books. Experts write down their best advice in these books, and you can have the benefit of their wisdom for $15 (free if you go to the library!).
ￂﾷ Don’t listen to anyone’s legal advice except your lawyer’s. Well-meaning friends offering their two cents will just distract you. If you want a second opinion, see another lawyer.
ￂﾷ Consider using mediation, which can be 75 percent less expensive than hiring separate lawyers and preparing for court. Collaborative Divorce and even private judges and arbitrators can also save you money. There’s nothing more expensive than going to court and all the preparation that goes into getting ready for hearings and trials.
ￂﾷ Create a "Divorce Mission Statement." Keep your grounding and remember that you have a long life ahead of you. This divorce will only ruin your life if you let it. Here's a free online Divorce Mission Statement Generator