Learn About Making Divorce Affordable
Divorce can be extremely expensive if you don’t do your homework! Watch this educational video by New Jersey divorce attorney Tanya L. Freeman for tips on making divorce affordable.
The cost of your journey is a critical component in that initial interview with a potential attorney. You should not just ask about hourly rates but also about other costs. Will an expert be needed? Is your attorney going to hire an accountant or some sort of forensic professional to help understand what the financial components of your case are? Are there administrative fees, copying fees, or costs for court filings? You want to receive a projection of the likely costs in your case.
How much work happens outside of that lawyer’s office? If the lawyer is using experts, who are the experts? What is an average range for the cost of that expert’s service? If I need that expert to come to court with me, how much will that expert charge me? Does your attorney have one rate for office work and another rate for court work? Does that attorney require an additional retainer before a trial, if your case is going to go to trial?
How often will you see an invoice? I invoice my clients once a month, so my clients are accustomed to regular payments, but other attorneys may rely on different schedules. Once you receive that invoice, what is the expectation for payment? Does your attorney want you to pay the fee within the next thirty days, or is he or she willing to wait until the end of your case? Can you pay your fees from a particular asset when it is sold or liquidated? These are all important questions to ask; as you navigate the journey of divorce, you do not want to have surprises.
You want to make sure at the onset of your case, as you select your partner to help you through this journey, that you will be able to afford to stay with her or him throughout the process. You may decide that the services of the best attorney in your community are at a rate that you simply cannot afford; hiring that partner and later becoming unable to afford her or his service any longer will not help your case. You want to be equally suited with your attorney, your budget, and what he or she is projecting that you are going to spend.