Don't Get Mad, Get Even

July 22, 2019

“Divorce is one of the most financially traumatic things you can go through. Money spent on getting mad or getting even is money wasted.” – Richard Wagner

Going through a divorce is indeed a very difficult time. Many people hire attorneys to assist them with this process. The attorneys and their staff are there to offer support and expertise during what is one of the most stressful times of a person's life. Attorney's fees can add up quickly. Drafting motions, preparing for hearings, speaking to other attorneys, writing letters, reviewing documents; all of these tasks take time, and an attorney's (or their staff's) time comes at a price. The more work that is done and the more time that is spent, the higher the bill.

Many people are shocked at just how costly a divorce can be. The more contentious a divorce case, the more expensive it will be. A divorce is an emotional and trying process. However, it is important to attempt to keep those emotions in check. That CD collection, or the couch from the living room may seem important at the time, but spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a court battle arguing over these items is really not the best way to spend a couple's hard-earned money.

It is important to understand that phone calls and emails do add up. What seems like an emergency in the moment in retrospect may be a minor issue. Take a deep breath before you place that call or send that email. Is your issue really an emergency, or can it wait to be addressed? Many times it is more cost-efficient to save up several questions and send them all in one email, or make one phone call with a list of questions. Rather than calling three times per day and being charged for three separate calls, why not write down each question and save them until the end of the day and then send a single email requesting a response to all the questions? The attorney or staff can then respond to all of the inquiries at once, hopefully saving the client some money.

It is also important to realize that you and your attorney cannot control anyone else's behavior. If a settlement letter is sent, you cannot control when or if the other side responds. You cannot control whether the other side files motions which require responses. You also cannot control whether the other side requests discovery, which requires responses and a significant amount of time to prepare. If the other side acts unreasonably, there is a possibility of requesting attorney's fees, but there is no guarantee. This is something a judge must decide, and in the end, a judge is a human being, just like you.

Remember no one wins in a divorce. This is the end of a marriage. Although it may be hard, it is better to take the high road. After all is said and done, you should be able to look back and be proud of how you handled yourself and your case – and if nothing else, your wallet will thank you.

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