Can you share some of the best ways for clients to save money during a divorce?
Eric Higgins’ Answer:
Many of our divorces these days are very document intensive – whether it be financial documents, tracing separate property assets from 20 or 30 years ago, or child-related issues – and they have boxes full of emails and text messages. One of the things the client can do to save money is collect all those documents and organize them so their attorney don’t have to spend time sifting through them. We have had clients who have brought us boxes and boxes filled with documents that are completely unorganized: they just threw the papers into boxes expecting us to sort through them and find out what they have and what is still missing. It can be very labour-intensive for us to do this work, and we have to pass those costs along to the client.
Another thing clients can do to save money is to be responsive when their attorney asks for something. Whether they’re busy or they’re in denial about the whole divorce process, we have clients that are not always responsive when we ask them for documents. When they don’t respond, we may be facing a motion to compel on a discovery request and spending unnecessary time in court. If they’re responsive to our requests, that’s going to save them money. We also have to manage expectations for our clients. If our clients let us do our job, listen to our advice, and are prepared to be reasonable in terms of their expectations, then that’s going to save them money during the divorce process.