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Financial Matters: Dealing With Legal Fees
by Kim Hess

When dealing with legal fees when filing for a divorce, it is
important to understand and clarify fee arrangements with your lawyer. Understanding and clarification will help to keep your legal costs reasonable.

Negotiate Fee Arrangements

Ask for detailed billing statements.This is your right. Your attorney works for you. Free yourself from doubts by asking for details about your bills. Be aware of over billing practices like over-researching, too many lawyers reviewing your case, or having conferences about your

Develop a Strategy and Budget

Budget your legal fees and try to set a maximum limit agreed upon by both you and your lawyer. The maximum limit should not be exceeded unless you approve so. Avoid oral agreements and write every detail about your budget.

Cost Limitations

Don't hesitate to talk to your lawyer about limiting costs. Do not pay for meals or secretarial overtime unless they are absolutely necessary. Ask for monthly or weekly billing statements. If traveling out of town is needed, make sure that one lawyer will travel be clear about how much you are willing to pay for travel expenses like restaurants, lodging and airfare.


Organize your documents and list information to discuss prior to meeting up with your lawyer. Make a list of questions that you need to ask him over the phone. If you can't get a hold of him, write a letter based from your list. If your attorney isn't available via phone, don't hesitate to email them.

Disagreements and Termination of Representation

If you disagree with how your lawyer's is representing you, tell them immediately before the problem get worse. If you decide to switch attorneys, make sure to get your file and pay them what is due. You can always file a complaint against your lawyer for a professional misconduct.

Practice professionalism when dealing with your attorney. Know your rights and obligations.

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