The dissolution of a marriage often brings financial worries to compound an emotional crisis. Dissolving a marriage can be expensive and most clients are understandably concerned about the costs involved. The emotional crisis which you may be experiencing can aggravate your financial situation if you permit it to increase your attorney's fees. However, you are capable of keeping your fees at a minimum by following these simple guidelines:

(1) Remember the high cost of telephone calls. As a general rule, call the staff member assigned to your case first. If legal advice or intervention is needed immediately, he or she is trained to recognize it and will know what steps to take, but you will find that most often the staff member is capable of handling the problem or answering your questions immediately. It may be helpful for you to keep personal notes regarding questions that enter your mind. Reserve your telephone call until you have thought about what it is you really need to know on more than one issue.

(2) Remember that our services are primarily legal. Certainly, unless I understand the nature of your interaction with your spouse, I cannot represent you as well as I might. Also, unless decisions which could ultimately be extremely costly to you. For those reasons, I will spend some time with you exploring this interaction, especially at the beginning of the case. From what you tell me, I may be able to point out that sharing your experiences and problems with me may fail to generate a return worth the added costs that will appear on your monthly statement.

(3) Participate as effectively as you can in your own case. Your time will be less expensive to you than ours. Therefore, we will request that you obtain and organize as much of the information and documents for your case as possible, consistent with its proper and expeditious handling. For example, you may receive a "Demand for Documents" containing a long list of documents which must be provided to the opposing party. If you simply bring us a confusing, unorganized mass of various documents, I will assign a paralegal or a law clerk to organize them, but you will pay the full hourly rate for these services. You are far more familiar than we are with your documents and will know which documents you are producing in response to which demand. Any questions you have regarding the method of organization will gladly be answered by my staff, and this is one area in which you can save yourself considerable fees.

(4) Keep your case documents organized. This office will provide you with copies of all documents we prepare or receive in your case, on a regular basis. Organize the correspondence and legal papers involved in one file or a binder and bring them to all conferences and hearings. In this way, you have your own set of documents to refer to.

We will do our best to explain the progress of your case each step of the way. However, should you not understand the why or where-fore of our handling of your case, ask for clarification immediately. Delay will only hamper communication between us and require more time to clarify the matter for you later. You may also visit our Blog "Best Divorce Dictionary" for help in understanding or clarifying the language of the divorce process.

(5) Be Responsive and precise in your communication. When information is requested of you or some action is required on your part, follow the directions of your attorney and respond as quickly as possible. Your delay can be costly in that it will require follow-up action on the part of my staff or myself. Remember, if you require prodding, you are paying for that attention.

(6) Think positively toward the settlement of your case. I can hardly remember a case where the Husband and Wife had the same memory as to the understandings with respect to their acquisition of assets and numerous other matters. There will be many disputes as to what the agreements were and perhaps some as to what the law is in these areas. I cannot give you percentages of probability of outcomes, nor can I guarantee any single result in the case. For that reason, and because judges often dispose of cases in ways which disappoint both parties, it is almost always best to settle a case if one can obtain a fair settlement. Therefore, as soon as we have enough information to understand what is at issue, I will seek your authority to negotiate a settlement. A trial is the most costly route to the dissolution of your marriage.