Lawyers are expensive, even the cheapest lawyers cost and fees can be a financial burden especially on people who are already strapped for cash. Not to mention, ongoing litigation is emotionally draining and detrimental to the mental health of not just the adults involved, but also to the children involved.
So the question of how a person can save money, and/or speed up their case, no matter the reason is something I come in contact with often. Before we get into the things that we can do to speed up a case, lets address the things that often delay a case from being resolved most often.
7 Most Common Things That Delay A Divorce/Family Law Matter:
1) The judge's schedule/calendar
2) Client's failure to tender discovery documents in a quick manner, or provide per attorneys request necessary information to keep a case moving.
3) Client's failure to stay current with legal fees
4) Client introducing new legal issues not previously discussed between the attorney and client.
5) The nature of the client's matter (A contentious divorce with property, animosity, children, ect., will not be solved as quickly as an uncontested divorce with no other issues)
6) Ability of parties to agree to a settlement on all issues without court intervention.
7) The attorney's ability to communicate & respond to client's inquires in a timely fashion.
Now lets address some of the easiest things you can do in selecting, or proceeding with your case that can shorten the time you spend litigating a matter.
1) Responding to an attorney's questions, document requests, or other means to information collection can go a long way in ensuring your case reaches resolution as quickly as possible.
2) Nothing beats a reasonable agreement being reached outside of court...its the quickest path to resolving a matter and saving thousands in legal fees.
3) Being truthful with your attorney, and voicing your concern, questions ect. on an ongoing basis. A lawyer cannot address an issue he/she has no knowledge of, and not being truthful with your attorney can cause issues and fracture the attorney-client relationship beyond repair.
4) Choosing the right attorney for your needs, and having patience. If you reach out to your lawyer, and you don't get a response back in a reasonable time, that is a huge indicator that your attorney may be too busy to really give your case the time and attention it deserves.
5) Allow your client time to be effective. It is easy to want results within the first week or even the first month of retaining an attorney. However, a lot of of things happen behind the scenes with a lawyer. May it be negotiating with opposing counsel, keeping a client out of contempt, the attorney reaching an agreement off the record that heavily benefits the client.
#5 i'd say is especially important in both making sure a case reaches a cost-effective and speedy resolution. I have saved clients thousands of dollars, and probably days if not months worth of headaches by just doing preliminary negotiations with opposing counsel. I've definitely saved my client months of unnecessary litigation on needless issues by simply advocating for them outside of court.
Also, an unofficial #6 that a lot of lawyers won't tell you. Switching up your lawyer can delay your case. This is not to say that changing to a lawyer who you feel will better represent your interest isn't helpful, but like anyone in a job, your lawyer will need to become familiar with your case and have the case file and all the facts to adequately represent you. It takes time sometimes to get up to speed with some cases, especially those that are complex family law cases.
Well, that is all from me for today, I hope this helps someone!