5. Hiring the most expensive attorney you can find
Just because you should hire an attorney to handle your divorce, doesn’t mean it has to cost you every last penny. Many people tend to think that the more expensive a lawyer is, the better that lawyer must be. This is not always the case. There are plenty of high priced attorneys who are very skilled, yet there are also quite a few who are only good at making money. You can easily find a reasonably priced attorney who will provide you with excellent legal representation.
However, if you want to hire a big-gun lawyer, be prepared to spend the money – as with the name recognition usually comes a large price tag. If your goal is to intimidate your spouse, prolong the process, or simply “win” at all costs – that may work for you. For most people, however, the goal is to get divorced in an efficient and cost-effective way. In Manhattan, the rates for some high-end attorneys can hit $900 an hour. That may be affordable for divorcing CEO’s and celebrities, but not for the average Joe and Jane Doe. When hiring such high-priced attorneys, middle-class people may end up spending $50,000 on a divorce that could have cost them $5,000.
Also, rather than hiring the first lawyer you find in the phone-book, make sure that this attorney is right for you. You want to end up being represented by someone who can protect your interests, someone qualified, yet affordable.
The rates for legal services are very varied. Most divorce attorneys charge hourly rates, unless your divorce is simple and/or uncontested. The rates depend on attorney’s experience, recognition in the field, location, and the nature and complexity of your case.