Divorce can be costly. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the major issues in your case, then legal and expert fees can run into the thousands of dollars.

 

The most costly expense is your attorney’s fees. Divorce attorneys charge by the hour and will demand an upfront, or retainer fee, before they begin work on your case. Many charge between $300 and $500 per hour so even a simple phone call could cost you $50 or more.

 

Still, having a competent and experienced Boston divorce lawyer can mean the difference between drawn out litigation and an unsatisfactory resolution or one in which your attorney protects your best interests and is able to broker a reasonable settlement before a trial.

 

In choosing a divorce attorney that is best for you, follow some of these suggestions:

 

  • Get a referral. Many family members and friends have been divorced and have had either a good or a bad experience with their lawyers. If you know a lawyer in another field of law, ask him or her since many lawyers know who is a reputable divorce attorney.

 

  • Do your due diligence. Try to get the names of several divorce attorneys and investigate their bar records and educational background. The state bar maintains a list of complaints or disciplinary actions for all licensed Massachusetts attorneys. Review the attorney’s web site and other media sites to see what legal and community organizations in which the attorney has membership. A lawyer who supports battered women’s shelters, has published legal articles on domestic law, is involved in domestic law organizations, has received community or legal awards or has experience in alternative resolution solutions may be a good fit.

 

  • Interview the attorney. Have a list of questions regarding the attorney’s experience in domestic law and the divorce process. You will want a Boston lawyer who has experience in divorce or domestic law. Observe the lawyer’s demeanor and interest in your case, his or her ability to answer questions fully and to be upfront about costs and fees.

 

  • Ask about the support staff, if any. Paralegals handle much of the routine work and will be your contact person. The paralegal can help you complete documents or answer interrogatories. Simple questions can be answered by the paralegal at greatly reduced fees.

 

  • Be comfortable. You want someone with whom you feel at ease and who is sensitive to your concerns and wishes.

Other Ways to Save Money

 

Being well-organized and gathering all your financial documents on your own will save you a substantial amount in legal fees. Documents include bank statements, mortgage statements, pension or retirement fund documents, life insurance policies, loan documents, copies of your bills, and stock portfolios. Other cost-saving measures include:

 

  • Hire a financial expert to review and value your stock portfolio and retirement account
  • If you own real estate, have it appraised and split the cost with your spouse if possible
  • Should you and your spouse own a business, an accountant will need to value it
  • Be willing to compromise

 

Consider alternative dispute resolution including mediation. Your attorney can assist you in the process and advise you during the mediation. Careful planning, being well-organized, well-informed and wisely choosing a divorce attorney can save you stress, frustration and potentially thousands of dollars.  The lawyers at Lovenberg & Associates are compassionate attorneys who will help you during this most difficult time.  Give us a call today!