How to Manage the Cost of Your Family Court Case
Be sure you do your homework before hiring a Family Court Attorney in Charleston.
It generally will do you no good, and most likely will actively harm you, if you seek the services of an attorney who does not have substantial experience in Family Court. Every area of practice is so different, and the requirements for keeping up in every area so diverse and numerous, it is even more important than ever to seek an experienced Family Court attorney in Charlestong>.
You may ask why this is so important. First of all, the practice of family law is very controlled and regimented by “what is possible” in Family Court. The system of family courts was set up by the SC legislature, by statute, and the Family Court accordingly may only do those things which the legislature assigned to them. That being said, there is considerable room for creativity and for the art of compromise when trying to craft an Agreement for the Family Court’s ultimate approval. Experienced Family Court attorneys in Charleston know how to get things done, quickly, efficiently, fairly, and appropriately; you have no way of knowing whether or not the real estate lawyer who closed the loan on your home, for instance, possesses the same body of knowledge.
Managing your costs is within your power, believe it or not, but only to a certain extent.
Neither you nor the lawyer you select will have any control over your spouse or the lawyer your spouse may select. I have frequently stated that reasonability of your spouse and the selection of opposing counsel will determine the length, breadth, and degree of difficulty, so to speak, for your case. He or she may or may not be experienced, may or may not be reasonable, may or may not be interested in compromise, and any other number of variables, all of which influence the cost of your proceeding. You, however, have the ability to cooperate with your own lawyer to smooth the path of proceedings, and thereby cut down on the time and expense devoted to those proceedings.
At this point, you will be asking how to smooth the path of proceedings and accordingly cut down on the time and expense devoted to those proceedings. Here I must return to a few points I have tried to stress in other posts:
Making Wise Decisions in Family Court Cases
Tell the truth.
If you are caught in any lie, you simply invite the other side to keep digging at you with skepticism arising from just one lie. Who will believe you if you tell a lie? After the lie, no one will, including the judge and also your spouse’s attorney. Renewed interest in the possibility that you have told other lies will keep your case spinning while everything gets a second, or third, look.
Assist your lawyer in gathering documents which are necessary to your case.
These will include financial documents, such as tax returns, pay-stubs, perhaps banking records/checking account registers/bank statements, etc. Dragging your feet on producing the requested materials will allow your spouse’s attorney to take action against you in Family Court, and will cause the Family Court’s own file to start to adopt the look of “bad paper trail”. You don’t want this exposure, you don’t want this additional expense with your own lawyer, and you don’t want the possible exposure to penalties through the Family Court;
Look hard for the documents and other materials are requested in your case.
For example, if your checking account records are requested for a 1-year period, do you make yourself look better or worse if you provide 6 months’ worth and offer the excuse that this was all that was available to you online? Bad choice here if you take it. If a year’s worth of credit card statements are requested, and you really don’t ever keep these, don’t offer that excuse; call your credit card company and arrange for them to send you the necessary copies. There may be a small charge for some of these records, but nothing like what you might spend defending poor choices and half-answers in the Court.
Keep on top of your case.
Your experienced Family Court lawyer in Charleston should be sending you copies of everything that comes in, and that goes out, in your case. Have a file for these materials. Keep that file in a safe place, where your spouse and your children will not find it. Refer to it from time to time. Re-read the materials provided by your spouse. Point out to your own lawyer if you notice problem areas or discrepancies;
Communicate with your lawyer.
Too often clients will wait for their lawyers to contact them, instead of coming forward with necessary information and questions. Let’s face it: everyone is busy, but your case is important. Every experienced Family Court attorney in Charleston will treat your information, your concerns, and your questions respectfully.
Working together, working hard, and working efficiently with an experienced Family Court attorney in Charleston will always be your best choice.