This is the next post in my series discussing how Las Vegas fathers may retain effective counsel for their family law issue while staying within a budget. My last post explained why hiring an attorney in an unbundled capacity can help keep legal costs down. In this post I will explain why it is important to be upfront with your new attorney as to how much you are willing/able to pay for legal services.
Do not be embarrassed when discussing financial matters with your attorney
There is no reason to feel embarrassment when discussing your financial boundaries with your attorney. If you have a case involving division of property, spousal support, or child support, your attorney is likely going to learn all of your financial information anyway. So there is no reason to be anything less than totally upfront as to what you are willing and able to pay for legal services. During your initial consultation with your attorney, one should discuss the needs of their case. For example, if one is going through a divorce, this may include asking the attorney to help negotiate a property settlement, spousal support, child support, etc. Ask your attorney how many hours they believe negotiating a settlement might take. If a trial were to occur, approximately how many hours would that take. Ask how much discovery might cost. If the attorney you are consulting with refuses to give you even a ballpark number, shop around. While every legal case is different, your attorney absolutely knows on average how much time and money an average case costs. During your initial consultation, it will highly benefit a client to be very clear early on how much they are willing and able to pay for the entire case. This will prevent the attorney from wasting time and resources on areas that are not absolutely necessary. By starting the attorney-client relationship on an honest foot, the client can avoid large bills and surprises as the case goes on.
A client should be mindful of their financial situation when making legal decisions
Family law can create an array of emotions and impulsive behavior. When one has limited resources to devote to an attorney, it is important not to waste time fighting with an ex for the sake of fighting. The client must also be reasonable as to what they are willing to ‘concede’ to an ex. The more one argues in Court over issues, the more expensive a case will be. Contentious divorces cost far more than amicable divorces every time. Keeping a spirit of civility when at all possible during one’s split is also important to keeping a legal case affordable.