Here are 5 tips from Vesta’s Divorce Retreats that my “retained” legal team never told me during my divorce about how to reduce my divorce lawyer cost.
I admit I am a Vesta Retreat junkie. Why? I learn more about better managing all aspects of my life each and every time I attend a Vesta event. My divorce was granted 8 years ago, prior to Vesta’s formation. These simple tips could have saved me thousands of dollars, many hours of time and frustration, and countless boxes of tissues. As everyone agrees at the end of the many Retreats, I wish I had all the resources that Vesta provides before I went through my divorce.
1. Who’s interviewing whom?
When interviewing lawyers to handle your divorce, or before an introductory consult, write a history of your marriage and email it to the lawyer prior to your visit. Include the length of your marriage, children’s names and ages, how you met, why your marriage dissolved, career information, an overall financial summary, etc. Be as long-winded or concise as you want. The smart lawyer who wants to work with you, will read the critical highlights before you meet, and prepare pertinent questions relevant to your case. You will save time and money.
2. Collaborate with your lawyer on legal issues only
Remember that your lawyer is not your therapist. Bring your emotional issues and concerns to a certified psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or coach. Their hourly fees (which are often covered by medical insurance) are usually much less than your lawyer’s ($250-$500+ per hour), and more importantly, they have the expertise to help you through this emotional journey. Actually, as harsh as it may sound, it is important to remove the emotion from your legal decisions and treat your divorce as a business transaction. Make informed decisions, not the emotionally-driven decisions that take up more time and money.
3. Work with the best experts for their expertise
As part of your divorce, you will have to put together a financial statement. Rather than relying on your attorney, get help from a financial advisor or an accountant to prepare the financial statement. These professionals usually are more efficient at analyzing and preparing financial information, and are likely to be much less expensive. They also can advise how to identify and split assets equitably, address tax issues, and determine your future financial needs
4. Curb their enthusiasm
Your friends and relatives will be eager to lend “legal” advice and practice their brand of therapy on you. They mean well, but they are not divorce professionals, nor are they objective about your situation. Listen to your lawyer, financial advisor and therapist. They are the divorce professionals who are working together to see you succeed.
5. Let’s be friends (or at least amicable).
If your relationship with your spouse allows, opt not for litigation, but for mediation, collaboration, negotiation or arbitration. These options can be far more time and cost efficient. The solution is a more positive experience for all. And, of course, it can keep a cap on that divorce lawyer cost number!
There are many more tips to be had at Vesta’s Divorce Retreats. You will not only gain valuable and personalized information, but also make new connections and have time for fun and relaxation. Go to VestaDivorce.com/Events for more information.
Here’s one last tidbit. When my marriage ended, I felt isolated. My self-confidence and self-esteem were at a new low. However, I survived.
You, too, will survive, and you can thrive.
Attendees of Vesta’s Divorce Retreats report that their greatest take-aways were far greater information (particularly in areas they didn’t know about…”You don’t know what you don’t know.”), peace of mind, confidence and camaraderie.
I encourage you to take this opportunity to learn from Vesta’s expert network of leading professionals. Empower yourself with knowledge. Connect with yourself and others. In less than 2 days, you can begin to change your life.
If you have any hesitations about attending, please contact us at (508) 744-6014 or via VestaDivorce.com with any questions. We will be there for you throughout the retreat and beyond.
Author of this blog, Nancy Selig, first attended a Vesta divorce event in the winter of 2014, several years after her divorce. She has attended and volunteered at numerous Vesta events since then, including 5 Divorce Retreats.