August 30, 2023
Sometimes getting a lawyer is necessary. But if you are not careful, the cost of having a lawyer represent you can easily add up. It is important to remember that hiring a divorce lawyer is not that different from getting any other professional service. When you establish upfront how the cost will be calculated and paid, you can avoid some of the pitfalls people face when their legal fees balloon to astronomical heights. Here are some tips on how to control and budget for legal fees.
Be Clear On The Fee Arrangement. When you hire a lawyer, you will likely need to sign what is known as a fee agreement. This document will describe how your lawyer’s fee is to be calculated (contingency, hourly, or flat fee) and how it is to be paid. It should also outline the work that you have hired them to do. Be sure to ask questions if you are confused about anything and request that your lawyer keep you posted on the progress of your case.
Ask For Updates. Legal fees can get out of hand if you are not on top of how much time your lawyer is spending on your case. If your lawyer is charging you at an hourly rate, then you may not know how much time they have spent until you receive the bill. Some lawyers may send you monthly invoices, while others do not. An easy way to address this is by asking for periodic updates. You can even include a provision in your fee agreement that requires billing statements be sent to you once a month.
Set A Ceiling. Letting your lawyer know upfront the maximum you are willing to spend on your case can also keep fees in line. A lawyer who knows that there is a limit on what they can bill may be more motivated to be efficient and resolve your case sooner rather than later.
Shop Around. Like any profession, there are good and bad lawyers. Critically, how much they charge will not guarantee that you will receive the outcome that you are looking for. You should keep in mind that whether a lawyer will be right for you will depend on a number of factors. The best way to get an idea of the going rate and the different opinions on how to handle your case is to consult with multiple lawyers before you hire one.
Be Realistic. As much as you would like to get a deal, you must be realistic about how much your legal fees will be. If you consulted with a few different attorneys and they all are quoting similar prices, then that amount is likely the going rate for what you are looking for. If you would like to save money, then you may be able to hire an attorney for very limited services and on a one-shot type of deal. Still, doing this may mean that you will have to do some of the legal work on your own.
Inner Vision Legal is an experienced family law firm that has counseled thousands of Oklahomans regarding divorce, child custody, child support and other important matters. We understand that these matters cost money, and we endeavor to provide you with quality services at a reasonable cost. Consult with the talented family law lawyer at Inner Vision Legal by calling (405) 724-2525 or by contacting us online today.