Anyone who has taken the time to search for a “cheap divorce” online, knows there are many, many cheap divorce lawyers promoting themselves in cyberspace. It’s too bad so many of them prey on desperate and uninformed customers with very little experience hiring a lawyer.
Thankfully, there are number of legitimate, experienced lawyers who will take care of your divorce at a reasonable price. But in order to find the right one, you must first learn which questions to ask and become somewhat educated on the process.
Here are ten useful tips to help you find and hire the right cheap divorce lawyer:
1. Resist any temptation to sign with the first cheap divorce lawyer who looks good. The price may be right, but many firms will sign on as many clients as possible to compensate for their low costs. Because they focus on quantity over quality, these firms are typically understaffed and overwhelmed, and your case may not get the attention it deserves.
2. Before you agree to any contract with a lawyer, take the time to investigate the firm. This can be done by asking for references, checking their status with local Queens County Divorce Attorney, and finding out if the firm has violated any professional or ethical standards.
3. Hire a lawyer located close to your home, as this will greatly reduce any billable travel expenses associated with your case. Plan on delivering documents and court filings yourself whenever possible, as this will also save on billable time.
4. Request a complete schedule of fees and contract terminology in advance. This should include specifics on how the firm bills hours, estimates on time spent for typical divorce-related tasks, and other miscellaneous charges.
5. Ask to see a sample invoice. This will show you how the firm bills items, and how they will be reported to you. Be sure that they will supply you with copies of pleadings, letters and other related documents in a timely manner as well.
6. One way to save time and money is through effective communication, so make sure you will be kept aware of impending deadlines for discovery information and hearings. This will help you to compile necessary information and save the cost of having your lawyer do it for you. Take on any legwork that you can, and this will save you on billable hours.
7. Keep your phone calls and emails relevant and brief, and plan on tackling all of your questions at once. Every time your lawyer reads and replies to an email, or picks up your phone call, you will be charged for it.
8. Before finding the Best Divorce Lawyer Brooklyn you may need to interview anywhere from 5 to 15 attorneys. Most cheap divorce lawyers will offer a one-time flat fee, as well as low hourly rates. If you expect to have complications with custody, or if your divorce seems particularly hostile, then you may be better off with hourly rates. Cheap divorce lawyers shouldn’t charge more than $100 per hour, but rates can vary depending on where you live.
9. Begin your research on the Internet, but ask friends and coworkers if they can refer an inexpensive lawyer as well. You may need to check with your local bar association for a more complete background check on each lawyer, but this is a worthwhile use of your time.
10. And finally, plan on educating yourself as much as possible on the legal process, and any paperwork that will be filed on your behalf. This will allow you to take on as much of the work as possible, and will not only ensure you a cheap divorce; it will also shorten the legal process considerably.