Have a Legitimate Reason to Call Your Divorce Lawyer
Key Points
  • Calling your lawyer every time you have a question will add up in your monthly billing. Make sure you have all your questions written down and ask them all during one call or office visit. Calling your lawyer for every little thing just costs you more money in the end.
  • Before making a call to your lawyer, ask yourself if this issue needs to be addressed by calling or should I write a letter. Sometimes having the issue written out helps the lawyer to remember to act on the issue and also ensures that if an action needs to be taken, your lawyer would not forget, which can easily happen if you simply call.
  • Make sure when you are calling your lawyer, you are calling during normal business hours.

The stress of a divorce and especially the behavior of your spouse can put you on edge. Because financial and childcare arrangements are up in the air, and because spouses can be uncooperative regarding these matters, planning anything is extremely difficult. It’s almost as if your life is not your own. If you are lucky enough to have a job, you probably go to work each day wondering how much of the money you are earning will be taken away and given to your spouse and whether you will have any funds left after paying the spouse, the child support, and the lawyers.

It’s not surprising then that whenever your spouse acts unexpectedly or something happens that could worsen your plight, you feel like calling your lawyer and passing along the information. Sometimes, though, what has happened does not need to be communicated to your lawyer at all. Other times, the information can be written down and mailed or faxed instead.

Let’s say your ex is supposed to bring Bobby back at 7:00 P.M., but he doesn’t bring him until 7:30. Let’s say this happens at least once a week. Do you need to call your lawyer at 7:30 P.M. each time your ex is late? Unless your lawyer specifically tells you to, don’t call. This type of information can certainly wait until normal business hours and can even be communicated in a letter-assuming that a hearing, trial, or other court proceeding is not imminent.

Always pause and reflect before calling your lawyer. Ask yourself... Do I need to call about this, or would a letter be more effective? A letter serves the dual function of apprising the lawyer of the information and putting the information in writing. If you tell your lawyer something over the phone, either the lawyer must write it down at your expense or it won’t get written down, thereby increasing the likelihood that it will be forgotten.

Before you call your lawyer, ask yourself what you expect the lawyer to do with the information you are sharing. If all you want is for your lawyer to commiserate with you about your misfortunes, consider calling someone else instead-a close friend, a relative, a helpline, a spiritual counselor, or a therapist. By repeatedly calling your lawyer about legally insignificant spousal transgressions, you not only inflate your bill but also run the risk of alienating your lawyer.

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