For many people seeking a divorce, communicating with an attorney is a new experience. Here are 4 tips on what you can do to make the process easier, more efficient, and possibly even lower your costs.
- How to Approach an Initial Attorney Phone Call or Consultation
Before meeting with or calling your attorney, take a few minutes to gather your personal information, and to think over and write down any questions you may have. That does not mean you have to know or have everything figured out. Divorce can be emotional, and it is normal to have difficulty keeping your thoughts straight. Having a few questions or concerns written down can be a good way to prepare yourself and to get the most value out of the time you spend with your attorney.
Remember that people are very rarely prepared at the beginning of the divorce process. Not being sure what to ask or how to approach things is expected and your attorney will understand.
- Prepare For All Meetings and Calls
Before every meeting or call, write down a list of your questions or concerns and send them to your attorney in an email. When you write things down, you come up with further questions. When you take the time to identify what your issues are it often leads to other questions.
It helps to do this ahead of time. It saves time and allows you and your attorney to go into more detail in your discussions. Bring your questions with you when you speak with your attorney. This way, your attorney will be able to walk through your list of questions with you, make sure you have a clear understanding of everything, and ensure that you are both on the same page.
Often, your attorney will provide a follow-up email summarizing their phone call or meeting. Before scheduling a meeting or call, check prior communications from your attorney to see if you already have the answer that you are looking for. This can also remind you of other things you may want to ask.
- Bundling Your Questions Can Reduce Costs
We are living in a tech-savvy society which can often make communicating easier. The issue is that because it is so easy, clients oftentimes reach out to their attorney in the same way they would to their friends. Your attorney does want to talk with you and has empathy for your situation but asking a question every time something pops into your head will cost you more money.
Attorneys generally bill by time spent. If you send your attorney 14 emails in one day, do not be surprised if you are charged for the time it takes for the attorney to review each one. The better way to communicate with your attorney is to put all your questions in one email.
In addition to reducing costs, keeping your communications to a minimum can help you to feel more in control. For example, if you send your lawyer one email with a list of 10 questions, and they respond, and you’ve got all your answers in one place, as opposed to 10 emails with 10 different responses. This gives you one place to refer to for information if you want to remember what they said or can’t remember if you’ve already asked your question.
- Use a Divorce Coach
Another effective tool to ease the divorce process is to use a divorce coach. A divorce coach is a common team member in a Collaborative Divorce but is also useful in litigated or contested divorces. Your lawyer’s focus is the law and not necessarily navigating the emotional side of a divorce, which is equally as important and equally as impactful. A divorce coach can help fill this gap.
We Are Here to Help
At Mayer & Young, PC we are dedicated to helping our clients through the divorce process and to create a healthy and happy future for you and your loved ones. Contact us today to start the process or learn more information.