It’s really a simple concept — the longer you spend settling your legal issue, the more it will cost you, both financially and emotionally. This is clearly not the result you want. And the goal of avoiding increased costs and stress has to be shared by both you and your attorney.
Unfortunately, many matrimonial/family law attorney seem more than happy to let their clients argue forever about the most mundane of issues in an attempt to elongate the process and, as a result, be able to charge more fees. In order to avoid this, you need an attorney who is more interested in your outcome in the case than in their own.
Avoiding huge legal bills
Time = $$$$
The easiest way to avoid unnecessary legal fees is to do everything as quickly as possible. Every time a client takes their time in obtaining financial documents, or making clear their wishes regarding various parts of the case, the clock keeps running. During that time, attorneys will have the opportunity of communicating with each other (at your expense) over often trivial matters.
Each phone call or letter, each motion submitted to the court, each settlement conference, adds to your final bill. A client can help to keep their own costs down by responding quickly to information request from their attorney, and by sometimes making short-term concessions that will have long-term results on the final cost of your legal matter.
Personal Issues = $$$$
Legal proceedings in the Divorce and Family Law area almost always involve the client’s personal feelings. There is plenty of hurt to go around when dealing with issues in divorce, custody, child support, etc. But the actual legal process is not designed to address those issues. It is, instead, designed to basically do two things: divide the couple’s property and provide for the couple’s children. In most cases, the court is not concerned about “Who Did What to Who,” as, especially in divorce cases, the actual behavior of the parties does not in any way influence the distribution of assets.
Endless negotiations = $$$$
At Breiter and Gura, our first rule in dealing with legal matters is to always keep in mind the monetary value of what you are seeking versus the cost of obtaining it.
Our own worst case scenario involved a couple who, at the very end of an unfortunately drawn-out negotiation, got stuck on the issue of ownership and value of a hanging fixture in their home … a home which was about to be put up for sale. The actual price of the item in question was under $100, but the couple became so fixated on arguing over the final ownership of this fixture — the one remaining item needed to finalize their settlement agreement — that the ultimate legal bill for negotiating this issue cost them each close to $10,000. (We even offered to buy both parties a similar fixture of their own in order to end the argument!)
Clearly, the fixture wasn’t the real issue. Control of the fixture was the issue. Having settled everything else, this couple couldn’t disengage from this one last argument and end the negotiating process.
Choose Breiter and Gura for a cost-effective divorce
Many matrimonial attorneys are more than happy to see their clients engage in behaviors which lead to more legal fees. At Breiter and Gura, however, with attorneys who have been through the divorce process themselves and had to live with the results, we place a strong emphasis on analyzing the result sought against the cost of achieving that result. We will always advise our clients on the most cost-effective and efficient manner to deal with each issue. Sometimes, making a concession — whether it deals with money or a difference of opinion regarding a visitation schedule — not only can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees, but can hasten the end of the negotiation/litigation process and the beginning of your healing process.
If you don’t want to spend your savings or your children’s college tuition on endless negotiations or litigation, and you are located in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, or Brooklyn, contact Breiter and Gura Attorneys at Law. We can provide you with an approach to your issues that can help limit your financial outlays when seeking a divorce.