How NSSS&B Can Help Control the Cost of Your Divorce

Wedding rings and money on a white background - cost of divorce concept

No one wants to spend excessive amounts of money on their divorce. Even when conflict is high, the goal should be to come to a fair outcome as quickly and efficiently as possible. At NSSS&B, we understand that you have other uses for your money, and that you are probably worried about losing part of your marital estate and possibly part of your income, regardless of your attorney’s fees. So we have taken steps to streamline the divorce process, maximize efficiencies, and utilize a team-based approach that helps control the cost of your divorce.

The Right Person for the Job Reduces the Cost of Divorce

You want your attorney to be familiar with you, your priorities, and your case, but that doesn’t mean they must have their finger on every part of the process. At NSSS&B, we help control the cost of your divorce by delegating appropriate work to paralegals, support staff and associate attorneys (who bill at a lower rate than our partners), to make sure the job gets done without over-inflating your bill. Work performed by a team member is then reviewed by the attorney with whom you are directly working in much less time than it would take that attorney to do the work from scratch. We do not charge minimum amounts for tasks we perform, and many tasks are not billed separately but rather incorporated into the hourly rate of the attorney(s) with whom you are working.

We take a team approach to representing our clients. That means on any given case you may work with:

  • Support staff who take your calls, schedule appointments and meetings, and help you gather information and documents
  • Paralegals who fill out forms, discovery documents and basic pleadings for our attorneys to review and revise as needed, and who make sure things are filed properly with the courts
  • Associates who research legal issues, draft motions and settlement agreements, and compile spreadsheets of your assets and debts to use during mediation or collaborative style settlement negotiations and if necessary, be presented at court
  • Your attorney who oversees the whole process, reviews and revises everything for accuracy, advocates on your behalf, and stands beside you in court if your case cannot be resolved using an alternative dispute resolution mechanism like mediation or Collaborative Law.

Taking a team approach also means you are covered when one of our attorneys is out sick or on vacation. Because we work together as a team on your case, and our information is networked electronically using a state of the art, high-end case management platform, your questions do not have to wait until your attorney returns.

Making the Most of Our Experience to Keep Divorce Costs Low

When matrimonial laws or local court processes change and a team member learns of it, they inform the entire team. We have many eyes and ears in the legal community to stay abreast of the latest information that could affect your case. We also use our combined experience so you don’t need to pay an attorney to start from scratch to research every legal issue in your case. At NSSS&B, we have been building a resource library full of briefs and legal research for years. When one of our clients is facing a legal issue – from arguing for spousal support to determining the pre-marital value of property – we use our past successes to lay the groundwork for their documents. Allowing our attorneys to share their work helps you keep divorce costs low by reducing the time spent researching and re-writing the same issues we have addressed in past cases, updating the work to include any new law.

You Pay for What You Get

At some law firms, every time an attorney touches the file you will get billed for a half hour or even a full hour of that attorney’s time, even if they didn’t spend nearly that much time working on your case. We believe you should only pay for what you get. We use technology to accurately track our time, and have no minimum billing period for specific tasks. That means the more efficient we can be, the less you will pay for your divorce.

What You Can Do to Lower Divorce Costs

At NSSS&B, we do our part to bring you high-quality representation without needlessly driving up the cost of your divorce. But you can do your part, too. If you are worried about paying your attorney’s fees, you can reduce the cost of your divorce by:

Working Out Issues Outside of Court

Litigation is expensive. There are other options, such as mediation and negotiations, that will let you get good (often better) outcomes in less time outside the courtroom. Ask your attorney about how alternative dispute resolution can reduce court costs.

Reducing Conflict and De-Escalating When Possible

Uncontested divorce is the least expensive way to end a marriage. The more you and your former spouse can avoid and de-escalate conflict, the less you will each pay in attorney fees. Not every divorce will be conflict-free, but if you can take steps to remove emotions from the legal process, it will help keep costs lower. This also means doing your best to stay objective and consider any offers that are presented to you with an open mind. Being open to compromise and creative problem solving can help you stay out of the courtroom and keep costs down.

Use Your Attorney Time Wisely

Every email, phone call, and meeting you have with your attorney adds cost to your case. You want to have a strong relationship with your attorney by keeping them informed of relevant, significant updates and fully understanding the law and your options. But you can also take steps to make the exchange of that information efficient, and get more for your money. Write down your questions before a call or meeting so you don’t forget anything. Combine multiple questions into one email. Talk to a support staff person first to see if they can answer your question (for things like scheduling, they may be your best choice. They cannot answer legal questions! , and will tell you if your question crosses that line). That way, when you do communicate with your attorney, you can focus on the legal issues and strategy that will have the biggest impact on your case.

Do Your Own Discovery

The more information you gather about your financial situation, your children’s records, and other divorce-related issues, the less you will pay in discovery fees. When attorneys have to send out interrogatories to the other party or subpoenas to banks and financial institutions, those costs can add up. If you are looking for ways to keep divorce costs down, gather as much information as you can yourself and work with our paralegals to complete discovery quickly and less expensively.

Follow Your Lawyer’s Instructions and the Court’s Orders

Unfortunately, some of our clients have cost themselves a lot of money simply because they didn’t listen to us or the court. When a person refuses to follow a court order or goes against an attorney’s advice, it can often result in more motions, more court appearances, and even contempt of court fines and costs. You are hiring us because you trust us to know how the process works. Listen to us to avoid accumulating unnecessary divorce costs.

At NSSS&B, we want to help you get a divorce as efficiently as possible. Our Ann Arbor family law attorneys, paralegals, and support staff work together to give you high-quality representation without accumulating excessive attorney fees. We understand you are working on a budget, and we will happily work with you to create strategies to reduce conflict, streamline the divorce process, and keep your divorce costs low. Click here to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.