What is the Best Way to Go After Attorney Fees From a Divorce?
There are a number of ways that your attorney can charge you fees during a divorce. You should always discuss these with your attorney and decide which of these options will be best for you.
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Get a Fee Order: The first thing you want to do is get a free order from the court. This will ensure that your lawyer will be paid for the work they do on your case and can be reimbursed when you are awarded a settlement or when the divorce is over.
If you don’t have a fee order, it can be challenging to prove that you are entitled to receive your attorney’s fees. A trial judge will look at a number of factors when deciding whether to award attorney’s fees in a divorce case. These include the reasonableness of the fees, the disparity in financial resources between the parties, and other considerations.
Aside from your income, the judge also considers your spouse’s income and assets when determining whether to award attorney’s fees in alimony or child custody cases. This includes how much your spouse earns and whether you have a joint account or separate accounts that can be liquidated to cover legal fees.
Organize Your Attorney’s Schedule: Aside from getting a regular schedule, you also need to make sure that your attorney is able to meet with you and get all the necessary paperwork in a timely manner. This will save you time, money, and stress.
Be Honest About Your Case: If you are not open and honest about your situation, it can make things more difficult for your lawyer. They will need to spend extra time uncovering all the details and facts that are important for your case.
Avoid Battles over Low-Value Assets: This may seem obvious, but fighting over small items such as a $500 dining room set is a surefire way to rack up legal fees. It’s better to fight for a fair property division and custody agreement, and then to focus your attorney’s time on those issues.
Liquidate Your Joint Accounts: If you and your spouse have joint accounts, it can be easier to convince the court that you both have enough funds to pay for your attorney. This can be especially helpful if you have children and are seeking custody of them.
Ask Your Lawyer to Do Smaller Cases: If your attorney is a great communicator, they will be happy to do smaller cases for you. These can be anything from setting up a child visit to discussing small logistical details regarding property division.
Communicate With Your Ex-Spouse Directly: If you are able to have a civil conversation with your former spouse, you will likely reduce the legal fees you have to pay your attorney. This can be particularly helpful if you are seeking custody of your children or dividing up any assets, such as the family home or retirement savings accounts.
Be Clear About What You Expect: The last thing you want is for your attorney to go up against a strong-willed person who doesn’t like to talk about the details of their divorce. Having your lawyer do those types of conversations can be frustrating, and it will cost you a lot of money in legal fees.