Divorce can be a long and stressful process, but if you seek out competent legal counsel, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are five simple tips I recommend for anyone going through the Nevada divorce process:
First, don’t just hire the first divorce firm you speak with. Many times people are in a fog and are unsure how to proceed. They hastily hire a divorce attorney without looking at reviews or asking any details. Make sure the attorney you hire has the experience to handle your case. You can review google, AVVO, Yelp or other reviews to see what past clients have to say. We also recommend you speak to family and friends for a quality referral.
Second, don’t get hung up on the initial retainer. Consider the firm’s hourly rate and also consider how they bill. Some firms bill every item in either 1/2 hour or quarter hour increments. We bill in tenth of an hour increments. How does this affect you? Let’s say the hourly rate is $350/hr and the attorney makes a 6 minute phone call to the opposing counsel:
- This would be billed as follows: The half hour minimum firm = $175
- The quarter hour minimum firm = $87.50
- Tenth of an hour firm = $35.00
This can surely add up over the course of litigation. People tend to focus exclusively on the initial retainer amount when the hourly rate and billable increment time is what is important.
Third, don’t think you will definitely save money by hiring a newly admitted less expensive attorney over a more experienced attorney who has a higher hourly rate. I have over 22 years of family law experience and recently took over a matter from a newer attorney who made a mistake in the pleadings that cost my client an additional $2,500 in fees to remedy. So, while experience may look more expensive initially on paper, it can actually save money in the long run with a quicker more efficient and stress free divorce.
Fourth, make sure you follow up on everything your attorney asks you to do. When your attorney or their staff has to contact you to follow up on missing documentation, you are billed for this time. Basically, you are paying for an expensive reminder service. We would rather bill for litigation work than reminder phone calls to get information we already requested.
Fifth, check your revenge at the door. It’s OK to be emotional. The attorney is there to be calm when you are not. Retaliation against your spouse for what you perceive to be his or her wrongful acts against you only make the case more expensive. (Even if they may deserve it!) Not complying with Court orders for payment or withholding children from visitation may feel good temporarily, but it only adds to the time spent on your case, and also the bill.
Still have more questions? Call our office if you have Nevada Divorce Questions or Download our Free E-book- Understanding Nevada Divorce Process.
Additionally, you may find our info-graphic on how to hire an attorney helpful.
Drizin Law is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult an attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.