The High Cost of Litigation
Without a doubt, family law court trials can be quite costly, both from an financial standpoint and from an emotional standpoint. In order to ensure that you fully appreciate this fact, your attorney should discuss with you the high price of litigation during the initial consultation, and he or she might try to further highlight the issue while he or she is invoicing you every month.
More specifically, your family attorney should talk about the specific costs that are associated with trials, even before the pre-trial settlement talks start. Additionally, once the preliminary discovery phase is done, your attorney should have a pretty good idea about the exact issues and facts of the case; therefore, he or she should be able to give you a good faith estimate about the amount of time and expenses that will be involved with the trial.
Talking about trial costs after discovery has been done should not entail any major surprises because your attorney should have already had more than one discussion with you about the fee that he or she will charge to handle the case, as well as the other costs of the trial, to include the cost of subpoenas, experts (if needed), and depositions.
Look at the Cost vs. Benefits of Litigation
The discussion about costs with your family attorney should not only include a mention about the cost of the litigation itself, but also what you and your attorney hope to accomplish by taking your case to the trial level.
For instance, what are the specific objectives that your attorney believes can be achieved during trial as opposed to a settlement? And if negotiations have been attempted and failed, why does your lawyer believe that the trial will be successful when settlement talks weren’t?
You should always base your choice to take a case to trial on objective criteria, and a cost/benefit study should be a major part of any such decision. This is true because your attorney might believe that you, as his or her client, are entitled to a much more significant share of the marital estate than the judge thinks is sufficient.
If you have questions about the cost of family law trials, or if you need the services of a family law firm, please contact us to arrange you initial Strategy Session.