divorce is a friendly ‘conscious uncoupling’, it can be costly. But there are a few things you can do to keep legal fees down. The Huffington Post recently ran an article on this topic that rings true: Shop around for an attorney. Most states have a Board Certification process to recognize expert lawyers. Using an expert, as opposed to someone who also handles criminal defense cases, bankruptcies and slip and falls, will save money over time. Also, many attorneys offer free initial consultations. I do, and encourage people to take advantage of a face to face meeting with your attorney. Pick Your Battles. If you intend to argue over every sponge, plant, and towel in your possession, be prepared for an expensive bill. Fight the battles that really matter, like custody and alimony or the house. Think Before Calling Your Attorney. Attorneys bill by the hour. If your attorney charges $350 an hour, and you’re constantly calling, you are going to have sticker shock – Those 15-minute phone calls add up, so write down questions and make one call. You may discover you have the answer you need and avoid a call altogether. Your Attorney is Not Your Therapist. I recommend seeing a therapist while going through a divorce. Most insurance will cover at least a portion of that cost. Using your attorney or the paralegal doesn’t get you the help you really need and is far more expensive. Check Your Invoices. You should be receiving monthly invoices from your attorney. If not, ask for one. Know where your money is being spent, and if there is a mistake on your bill, don’t be afraid to discuss it. Watch Out for Advice from Friends. Everyone knows someone who went through a divorce. People want to share what they know. Attorneys hate that. We hate it because no two cases are alike, and people have biases. For instance, people seem to remember what they want to, forgetting the bad parts. Control Your Emotions I’ve written before about this common mistake before. When it comes to meetings, mediations, and court, time is money. Be prepared when it comes to mediation, and don’t get angry because you don’t like the offer made. Anger is expensive. The Huffington Post article can be read here.