Top 10 Tips to Keep Legal Fees at a Minimum During Separation or Divorce

  1. Do-It-Yourself – do the paperwork yourself.  I recommend talking to a lawyer, even if only briefly, to ensure that this is the right course for you.
  2. Hire a lawyer as a “coach” – you may need a lawyer to iron out the rough patches, but the rest of the divorce can be done on your own.
  3. Consider using Collaborative Law – you and your spouse agree to work as a team in 4-way meetings with your lawyers to resolve your separation issues, instead of going to court.
  4. Consider using Mediation – a mediator, as neutral 3rd party, will facilitate your discussions to assist you to achieve your own solution to your separation issues.
  5. Attend a Parenting After Separation course – learn about your kids’ needs after separation and about the legal process of divorce.
  6. Attend divorce counselling – a professional counsellor will assist you to get a handle on the emotional side of divorce.  Lawyers are not usually counsellors – keep the expertise separate.
  7. Keep your emotions separate from the divorce process – the more fighting and emotions that arise, the more your fees will increase because your lawyer has to spend time resolving the matters.
  8. Consolidate your phone calls or emails – most lawyers charge in 6-minute or 15-minute minimum segments.  Wait to contact your lawyer until you have 2 or 3 questions gathered together.
  9. Talk to your lawyer’s assistant – many routine questions or information can be answered by a lawyer’s assistant, who usually bill at a substantially lower rate, if at all.
  10. Negotiate with your spouse – the more you and your spouse can agree on your own, the less your lawyer will have to negotiate on your behalf.



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