Skip to Content

What is the Cost of a Good Divorce Lawyer?

Dec 8, 2023 | Written by: Diana N. Fredericks, Esq. |

You may have heard the answer to the question “What is the cost of a good divorce lawyer?” as “far less than a bad one.”  Although this may seem like just another bad lawyer joke, there is some truth to the idea.  Clients always (understandably) want to save costs and legal fees.  A good divorce lawyer will want the same for you. 

While we cannot guarantee how long a divorce will take nor how much it will cost, there are some things that you and your attorney can do to save legal fees along the way.  Do you want to pay for your children to go to college, or for your lawyer’s children to go to college?  

The following tips are intended to help you save legal costs and maybe even some sanity along the way.

  1. Keep copies of all papers, letters, and pleadings. Take notes when you talk to your attorney. Keep yourself informed about your case.  Asking your attorney for copies of documents and information already provided to you can be costly.
  1. Keep a journal. You can continue to refer to your journal throughout your case and refresh your memory about important dates, names, and facts as you experienced them.  You can also a keep a list of questions, so you use your time with your attorney wisely and be clear about what you want/need.  However, ask your attorney if your journal is discoverable! 
  1. Offer to do some of the “legwork.”  Speak with your attorney about what information you can gather to be most helpful. For example, obtaining your own bank and credit card statements (if available) is far less expensive and time-consuming than having to do so through lawyers.
  1. If your attorney asks you for something, listen and do it! There is a purpose to these requests, and you are only being asked for things that are needed.  Do not make your attorney chase you for information; be cooperative and timely.
  1. Schedule calls with your attorney ahead of time. Except in an emergency, scheduling a call in advance allows your attorney to be prepared and to carve out the appropriate amount of time to speak with you about your matter.
  1. Many attorneys bill time for picking up and leaving voicemails; don’t get into a game of phone tag. Instead, call the attorney’s secretary and schedule a time to speak.
  1. Be candid and realistic with your attorney. Formulate clear and practical plans and goals.
  1. Be organized. The more time a lawyer spends preparing a case, the more you are going to be charged.  Many documents will need to be reviewed during litigation. Compile as many as you can yourself and keep them neatly organized, either in folders or as PDFs on your computer.  If acceptable, send soft copies of all the requested documents to your lawyer via secure email or other secure method. 
  1. Do not email or call your attorney to vent. This can be very tempting, but your attorney is not your friend nor your therapist, and he or she must bill for time.
  1. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, respond to your lawyer’s requests in a timely manner. Lawyers have deadlines they must meet, and they also need to be responsive to the opposing counsel's requests. You don't want to pay extra for your lawyer to keep following up with you, or for unnecessary appeals and motions.

Diana Fredericks, Esq.


Diana N. Fredericks, Esq., devotes her practice solely to family law matters.  She is a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and was named to the NJ Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in the practice of family law by Thomson Reuters from 2015 through 2021, to the NJ Super Lawyers list in 2023, and to the New Leaders of the Bar list by the New Jersey Law Journal in 2015.  Contact Ms. Fredericks for a consultation at 908-735-5161 or via email.

If you have a suggestion for a future blog topic, please feel free to submit it via the Contact Us form.

Any statements made herein are solely for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice.