16 February 2019
5 ways to save time and money on your divorce: help us help you!
The process of separation and divorce is typically challenging to say the least. It is often an emotionally painful and stressful time, not to mention confusing and possibly costly. This may be your first experience working with a lawyer and that in and of itself can be a daunting prospect.
Clients invest their valuable time to find the best lawyer to handle their divorce, but do not always consider the significant impact that they themselves can have on the legal process itself. There are many things that you as a client can do to make the divorce process more efficient and effective. Remember, you are usually paying your lawyer by the hour for the time they spend on your file, so being organized and doing your homework in advance can save you time, legal fees and stress.
Following are 5 tips that will help you make the divorce process more streamlined and cost effective:
Your lawyer needs to know the facts; all of them. To best guide you, they will need to know the whole story so that they can respond effectively and efficiently to anything unexpected that may come up during the legal proceedings. We realize that some of the facts may feel too embarrassing to share, but it is important that you provide them anyway to avoid delays, or worse, an undesirable result. Keep in mind that your lawyer has likely had clients with similar situations, and is not there to judge, but to help. They also are bound by lawyer-client confidentiality.
Keep an ongoing list of the issues that are important to you so that you can make the best use of the time you have with your lawyer, be it over the phone or in person. A single email with a list of questions is a more efficient approach than multiple emails asking individual questions. Pro tip: Number your questions so both you and your lawyer can quickly and easily answer questions and keep track of, and refer back to, responses.
Do your homework
When the lawyer asks you to provide documents or information, make sure you do your best to gather the documents or answer the questions in a timely manner. Legal costs can increase if the proceedings drag on or if the lawyer has to continuously send reminders or repeat requests. Do your best to avoid contributing to any delays and this will save you money in the long run.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions, only regrets that you didn’t ask them. Make sure you understand all aspects of your file. If you don’t understand a legal term or process, or request, just ask for an explanation. This is part of the service you are paying for and deserve.
Rely on your team
Don’t forget that at Watson Goepel LLP your lawyer is only part of your legal team, which also includes paralegals and legal assistants. Your lawyer may not always be available to assist you right away, so consider whether or not another team member can help you with your question. While only your lawyer can provide legal advice, many basic or process related questions can be answered by other team members for free or at a lesser rate.
The last thing anyone wants during a divorce is to waste their time and spend money unnecessarily. One is already experiencing undue stress. By observing these simple tips you can help make the process of divorce more efficient and streamlined, so you can spend more energy on moving forward with your life, and less on your divorce.
Karen Roussy is a Paralegal in our Family Law Group and is a part-time instructor in the Legal Studies program at Capilano University, where she teaches family law litigation procedures to Legal Administrative Assistants.