Family Lawyer Kevin Caspersz’s Tips for Divorcing Clients
In January, divorce season begins with a surge in initiated divorce proceedings after the holidays. Kevin Caspersz, a family law lawyer at Shulman & Partners LLP, shared with Law Times how he helps clients minimize their legal expenses during this busy period.
Is there a standard cost for divorce?
There is no typical cost, as each person’s situation is unique.
While some divorces may have commonalities and similarities, various factors influence the duration of divorce proceedings. These factors include the level of conflict between the parties, the issues involved, and whether legal counsel prolongs or expedites the divorce.
If the parties are amicable, they can discuss how they intend to divorce, including the terms and conditions, such as financial and children’s issues.
When a person approaches a divorce lawyer with these matters settled, it will expedite the process. This is the case when the conflict is not present, and the parties have agreed to the legally binding terms and conditions.
The more intense the conflict and disagreement between parties, the longer it will likely take to resolve the matter due to the necessary arguments, negotiations, and potential litigation. Ideally, parties should come to an agreement to expedite the process and minimize legal costs.
However, this may not always be possible, especially in cases where financial or child-related issues are at play. It’s important to approach the divorce logically and reasonably. Otherwise, emotions can cloud judgment and lead to a desire to hurt the other person rather than working towards a resolution.
To minimize costs, it’s important for clients to differentiate between genuine emergencies and non-urgent matters. Lawyers have a legal standard for determining whether something qualifies as an emergency – it must be a situation that could harm a party’s position, such as the depletion of assets or the disappearance of children.
However, not all issues require immediate attention. Clients should carefully consider whether a matter truly constitutes an emergency before contacting their lawyer, as continually treating every problem as urgent will inevitably lead to increased costs. To avoid unnecessary expenses, it’s crucial to maintain a clear head and separate emotions from legal matters.
How can a client (or clients) delay legal proceedings?
One significant issue in family law is the failure to disclose financial information, which is the foundation of the process. Both parties are required to provide full and honest disclosure, but sometimes they underestimate the amount of information needed. This reluctance to disclose can create more conflict and prolong the case, so it’s essential to provide as much information as possible to avoid issues.
The process of financial disclosure can be time-consuming, but the more cooperative and forthcoming the client is, the quicker this stage can be completed. Conversely, disagreements about what should be provided can drag out the process and increase legal costs, which can be avoided with clear and open communication.
Clients should be aware that if they do not provide complete financial disclosure, the case may drag on for years, which can result in unnecessary legal fees. It’s important to stress the significance of this step to clients and advise them to provide full disclosure to avoid additional conflict and expenses.
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