How to Reduce Your Legal Fees in Separation and Divorce
At Williams Family Lawyers, our years of experience have shown that the most highly-contested issues are: custody; parenting and access of children; and support, particularly spousal support.
It does not benefit either spouse or the children when one of the spouses shows bad faith or unreasonable behaviour. It also runs up your legal costs. For this reason, we work with our clients to ensure that they comply with the requirements and we vigorously resist bad behaviour on the other side.
Here are some factors that cause separation and divorce negotiations to break down:
- Unreasonably denying or seeking custody of, parenting, or access to a child without consideration for the best interest of the child;
- Unreasonably seeking or denying parenting or access to a child as a way to reduce child support payments;
- Using the child to seek revenge on the other spouse;
- Involving the child in the parental conflict;
- Frequently seeking to change the child’s schedule with the other parent;
- Failure to follow court-ordered custody, parenting, or access arrangements.
- Unreasonably seeking or denying a reasonable amount of spousal support;
- Unreasonably seeking or denying a reasonable amount of child support;
- Failing to generate income sufficient to the payee or recipient spouse;
- Hiding, manipulating or diverting income earned by a payor spouse;
- Demanding “special and extraordinary” expenses such as expensive extracurricular activities for a child that cannot be met due to insufficient financial resources.
- Providing false and inaccurate financial disclosure;
- Failure to provide financial disclosure in a timely manner by one or both spouses;
- Allowing willful or inadvertent omissions in financial disclosure; and
- Hiding assets by putting them in another person’s name, for example, in the name of relatives, adult children, or current spouse or partner.
If your former spouse is displaying any of these types of behaviours it will lengthen the resolution process and add additional stress to you and your family. These behaviours also increase your legal fees because your lawyer will have to spend additional time to deal with these issues.
It will also unnecessarily take away money from the family’s resources that could be better spent on you and your family.
However, you can seek sanctions against your former spouse by way of an Order of the Court for disclosure. You can also seek an Order for him or her to reimburse your legal fees by paying you costs which will be determined by the judge’s discretion.
In the event that your former spouse continues to disobey an Order of the Court, you may seek an Order to get his or her case struck out (meaning that he or she is prevented from being heard) or to have him or her held in contempt of the Court.
At Williams Family Lawyers, we have been successful in obtaining Orders for costs for our clients including very large Orders for costs where bad faith and unreasonable behaviour has been found by the Court.