Divorce is expensive. Divorce lawyers can charge a few hundred dollars an hour, and if you don’t keep tab on the time they spend on your case, you might be in for a bill shock.
It is no wonder then that some people are surprised at the amount billed to them by their divorce lawyers after their case is finalised. Even ‘cheap divorce lawyers’ in Singapore aren’t as cheap as you might think. An average divorce will still cost thousands.
So while it is a good idea to know exactly what your lawyer is doing, and for how much (i.e breakdown of costs), what are some other ways in which people incur outrageous legal fees?
Not Reading Carefully
Let’s face it, no one reads the ‘terms and conditions’, we just click on agree. While we have gotten away with it our whole lives, the ‘terms and conditions’ when dealing with divorce lawyers are something you should absolutely read and understand. Simply agreeing to the terms of the client-attorney contract without understanding it is a recipe for disaster. If you signed on something even without knowing what it meant, it is still enforceable.
Claiming you were in a hurry or didn’t fully understand the terms are not valid reasons. This is why you shouldn’t skim through documents when dealing with your lawyer.
When your divorce lawyer gets in touch with you to get more information or for other reasons, delaying your response can also cause legal fees to surge. This is because your lawyer has to delay their work to wait for your reply. If you reply or do what is needed after a certain deadline, your lawyer might have to reschedule, or do the legal work at a later time than the one allocated. Worse still is when they have to bring the work home to meet deadlines due to your unresponsiveness.
Not to mention that being responsive to your lawyer puts you in a good light, and they are more likely go the extra mile for your case or give you a discount on your legal fees to help you because they like working with you. They are also humans. When you frustrate them with slow replies, it’s like working with someone who doesn’t seem to care or take things seriously, and their level of service to you might be affected.
Making Emotionally-Charged decisions
We’ve mentioned this time and again. The decisions you make in a divorce case have serious implications. They affect not just you, but your children and family. Therefore, making emotionally charged choices is very unwise.
For example, don’t rush to hire a divorce lawyer just because your partner already got theirs. And do not let your ego win by choosing to go for a contested divorce just because you don’t want to talk to them. Contested divorces are significantly more expensive than uncontested ones.
Letting your current emotions dictate your choices might also cause you to end up in regret. Remember that the consequences of your actions last alot longer than your emotions.
Listening to others
You hired a good divorce lawyer, someone you can trust. So ask them questions relating to your divorce. They’re professionals and you’re paying them. That’s what they’re for. While there is nothing wrong with asking friends or strangers on the internet for advice and opinions, take it with a pinch of salt. Unless your friend has gone through a similar divorce or is a professional, do not make your decisions simply based off their replies.
Like I mentioned earlier, the choices you make in your divorce process have serious implications. So while you can get opinions from others, you have to also ask your divorce lawyer and evaluate the choices that are favourable for you.
LawyerSearch– Divorce Lawyers in Singapore