Divorce is a very expensive proposition. We are splitting up one household into two. The costs of running the two households is going to be higher than running one household. Do you want to spend more money on a lawyer; or less?
The answer is intuitively, "less." However, that is not the key question. The real question is are you getting your money's worth?
First, hire a lawyer who focuses on family law or divorce, if they are available in your community. They often know the short cuts, due to their experience. They can deliver the divorce more efficiently, meaning at a lower cost.
Secondly, listen to your lawyer. Your lawyer will tell you that the level of conflict determines the cost of the divorce. If your lawyer is telling you to see a mental health professional to work through the disappointment and anger you feel at your spouse, please do that. Work through the emotional impediments to resolving your divorce with the lower-charging mental health professional. That does not mean there is something wrong with you. Quite the opposite. You are smart enough to ask for help from the most qualified professional at a very emotionally-charged time. Ask your lawyer for referrals.
There are other cost-cutting measures. For example, try to get the financial records for your family yourself, to avoid expensive discovery costs. Organize your thoughts and email your questions to your lawyer before you call him. Long phone conversations where you free associate can cost a lot of money. Restrict your email messages to one topic at a time. Your lawyer will be able to answer them more quickly and efficiently.
Organize your emails and notes from your lawyer and refer to them. This will avoid reviewing the same information multiple times.
Take advice from your lawyer and your mental health or financial professional over the well-intentioned advice of your relatives and friends.
When your spouse really pushes your buttons, call you mental health professional to develop coping skills, before you call your lawyer. Often there are no legal answers to bad behavior since courts are notorious in being unable to make people behavior properly. However, there may be some good coping mechanisms that you can adopt to curb such behavior in the future.
Accept your lawyer's advice that working out your own settlement is the best option. This means that you take control over the outcome and do not rely on a judge to champion your cause. With good professional advice, you can work out a plan for settlement that meets your needs and implement it.
Be open and honest with your lawyer and your therapist about your fears. Then work with them about how to best address them.
That expensive divorce firm may have associates available to work with you. Yes, you were referred to the senior partner by your best friend. However, if the staff at that firm are urging you to work with an associate, who can always confer with the senior partner, if necessary, take that advice.
A skilled professional can help you settle your case at a lower fee than an inexperienced professional who occasionally works with divorcing couples and do not understand the dynamics of the case.