How to Find Cheap Divorce Lawyers
Divorce can be expensive. In fact, in California, the cost of a divorce can climb well past $10,000 per spouse. The price can get even higher if matters such as child custody and determining how best to divide joint property are contested.
With the prospect of a huge bill looming large, many individuals will try to find the cheapest lawyer possible to represent them in their divorce proceedings. While finding a lawyer who offers quality representation at an affordable price is worth searching for, hiring a cheap, inexperienced lawyer could actually backfire and cost more in the end.
For one, an inexperienced lawyer might make mistakes or fail to effectively represent you in court meaning you will likely lose out financially when it comes to resolving matters related to child support and spousal support. What’s more, is that a less skilled lawyer might push for trial when the divorce could be handled for less money (and in a more amicable manner) by pursuing alternative dispute resolution routes such as arbitration and mediation.
A lawyer who can help you successfully navigate the sometimes tumultuous waters of a collaborative divorce is worth every penny and can save you a great deal of money. It is important to take all of these factors, and others like them, into account when deciding which lawyer to hire.
What to Look For When Hiring a Divorce Attorney
There are several things to keep an eye out for when trying to find a lawyer that offers the right combination of affordability and experience.
One of the most important things is communication. A lawyer that communicates efficiently and regularly is one that will handle your divorce in the same way. If the lawyer is upfront about fees, responds to your messages, other lawyers, and the judge in a timely manner, that will help get your divorce headed in the right direction. And the sooner you can settle your divorce the less you will pay for it.
As noted above, another thing to look for when trying to find an affordable divorce attorney is searching for lawyers who have experience with mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce. All three of those methods of settling a divorce are less expensive than traditional litigation. And all three are often less stressful and produce healthier outcomes as well.
How to Find a Cheap Divorce Lawyer
In addition to knowing what to look for, it is important you know how to look for a cheap divorce lawyer. Most likely you have done some research online and have found plenty of lawyers who would fit the description of a cheap divorce lawyer.
To narrow your search to qualified candidates, take a few minutes to scan the websites of the lawyers that grab your attention. Look for:
- Where they graduated from law school
- How long they have been practicing law, and more specifically divorce law
- What associations they are apart of
- What their former clients have to say about them
In addition to researching law firms online, you can ask around at your work, neighborhood, or among your friends to see if anyone knows of an affordable divorce lawyer. Word of mouth is still one of the most common ways lawyers are hired to represent new clients.
Finally, don’t let any lawyer pressure you into hiring them. If you meet with a lawyer and they seem too salesy or are promising the moon, it might be a good idea to keep looking. Your initial consultation should make you feel comfortable with the idea of working with the lawyer for as long as it takes to settle your divorce.
While affordability should definitely be on your mind, cost shouldn’t be your only determining factor. Remember to consider communication, experience, reputation, and whether or not the lawyer can help you avoid a long trial. If you can find a good lawyer who meets those criteria, you will most likely spend less on your divorce.