When it comes to your divorce, money is always an issue. Whether you considered yourself to be financially comfortable before your divorce or not, you’ll have to adjust to a new normal afterwards. In addition to the actual financial costs specifically attributable to divorce (the cost of hiring a lawyer, paying for filing fees, costs associated with refinancing jointly owned assets, etc.), you’ll also have to permanently divide your income from your husbands. You may receive child or spousal support, depending on your circumstances, but, either way, you’ll have to make your whole life work on one income, when you used to have two.
In a divorce, saving money matters.
Women call our office every single day, wanting to know how much a divorce costs. The truth is that’s a pretty complicated question to answer, and I can’t give you an exact number. What I can tell you, though, is that there is one pretty savvy trick that will help you save tons of money and get the kind of representation that you really need to protect yourself, your children, and your future.
What’s the secret? Hire a newer attorney.
Most firms have attorneys with a wide range of experience levels. They have the big names, the people that everyone is calling to ask about: the tried and true professionals, the people who have been through every single kind of case known to man. They also have relatively young attorneys, several years out of law school, who are educated and knowledgeable about the law, but just haven’t been in practice long enough to experience everything that family law has to offer. And of course, there are the attorneys that fall somewhere in the middle.
All of these different attorneys charge different hourly rates. Still, in order for a law firm to keep its good reputation in the community, it has to guarantee a specific level of service to every client, regardless of which attorney represents the client. In a law firm, the experienced attorneys help the newer attorneys, and, at least at our law firm, review their cases, make suggestions, and offer guidance on a daily basis.
Even though the more experienced attorneys spend time reviewing the newer attorney’s work, you are charged the newer attorney’s hourly rate, which can save you hundreds of dollars per hour. Over the course of your divorce, this could save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s only a suggestion, and you’re welcome to take it or leave it. But you should definitely keep in mind that there is a way to afford to hire the big name law firm and even have the big name attorney stand behind your case, all without paying that attorney’s hourly rate: hire the associate. When you call a law firm, ask about each attorney’s hourly rate. Ask whether the attorney with whom you’re meeting works closely with any more experienced attorneys. Ask whether the more experienced attorney will review your separation agreement or court documents if necessary.
In a divorce, money always matters. If you can find a way to secure top-shelf representation for a fraction of the price, don’t you think that’s worth looking into?