What do you gain if you protect your assets from your spouse but use them all up in attorney’s fees?  How do you keep your attorney fees down?

1. Don’t call your attorney for things that are not legal matters or for which the attorney has no ability to assist you.  For example, your attorney is not a mental health professional.  Consulting with the attorney on issues that are better left to a mental health professional, only increases your fees without providing you any material benefit. 

2. Understand that your attorney works for you.  You are the boss.  While your attorney may recommend that you fight for that dinning room set, if it is not important to you, you may be much better off letting it go and not utilizing resources to fight for it.

3. You probably know your spouse’s sore spots more than your attorney.  If you want to prevent escalating your attorney’s fees, avoid things that are less important to you, and that you know will make your spouse unreasonable. Think, “how is my spouse going to respond to this?”.

4. Don’t date prior to the final.  You may think that I am separated and what difference does it make?  If it makes your spouse jealous and unreasonable, it will affect your ability to negotiate a settlement.

Talk with your attorney about how to keep the fees down. But understand that if your spouse and their attorney ratchet up the litigation, it may make it impossible for you and your attorney to keep the fees completely in check.