Keeping Costs Down

KEEPING "COSTS" UNDER CONTROL

Divorce and post-decree proceedings can be financially costly. There is much you can do to assist in keeping attorney fees and expenses from escalating unnecessarily. The following guidelines should be followed by you to help minimize the costs and attorney fees associated with your case.

  1. OFFICE HOURS.

    Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Please do not "stop by" and request to see an attorney "for just a few minutes" if you do not have a scheduled appointment. Unscheduled visits are disruptive to the schedule we must maintain to provide quality service to all clients. If you merely need to "drop-off" materials, you may give them to a secretary or paralegal. If you require special assistance, a paralegal/legal assistant is available during regular office hours to assist you. As you know, services rendered by a paralegal/legal assistant are billed at a substantially lower hourly rate than attorneys charge for their time.

  2. TELEPHONE CALLS.

    Do not use any telephone number except the following to contact our office: 615-320-0600.

    Please avoid trying to reach attorneys on Friday as we are in Court all morning on that day. Of course, if an important or urgent problem arises, you should not hesitate to call at any time during regular office hours and a member of our staff will attempt to assist you.

    If you are calling to leave information an attorney has requested from you or to confirm an appointment or court hearing, it is best for you to communicate with a secretary or use voice mail rather than asking to speak with the attorney. This will save you money since you will not be billed for speaking with an attorney.

  3. MAILING.

    Any items you wish to provide to our office via the United States Mail, including payments, should be mailed to 2205 State Street Address, Nashville, Tennessee 37203.

  4. OFFICE APPOINTMENTS.

    Your punctuality in keeping scheduled appointment is appreciated. Likewise, if you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, please call and provide our office with as much advance notice as possible.

  5. BE PREPARED.

    Organize your questions and concerns so that they can be discussed at one time rather than on numerous separate occasions. You will be billed separately for each telephone call at a minimum rate of 10% of an hour (.10) or 6 minutes. This will be one-tenth of our hourly rate. You will save money if you try to organize your thoughts and present them periodically instead of calling repeatedly with singular concerns.

  6. BE ORGANIZED.

    Keep all Court papers and financial documents organized and bring them to all conferences and hearings. If you are well organized and maintain your "papers" in an easily accessible format, unnecessary delays can be avoided and meetings and court hearings can be concluded in less time, thus saving you money.

  7. OUR SERVICES ARE PRIMARILY LEGAL.

    Actions for the dissolution of a marriage and post-divorce cases are often emotionally painful and stressful. Your attorney will initially explore with you certain emotional aspects of your past and present marital relationship in order to achieve an overall understanding of your circumstances. There will come a point, however, when it will not be productive to focus our discussions on the personal, non-legal and non-financial aspects of your case. Clients often wish to utilize appointment time to "vent" emotional concerns, which the attorney is not capable of resolving through legal channels. Maintaining excessive focus on non-legal issues will add unjustified costs to your case. Our attorneys are always willing to recommend counselors or work with your counselor on your emotional aspects of the case. Seeing a counselor will not negatively impact on your case.

  8. If you file, be sure you are committed to the divorce or legal separation. Frequently stopping and starting a divorce or changing court dates can greatly increase your costs. Every time we begin a case with the Court we have to take certain steps to commence the case; similarly, to change court dates or stop the case requires certain action, which will be billed to you at the hourly rate. For example, if we file a complaint for divorce and set a show cause hearing for temporary support, if you decide to cancel the hearing or dismiss the divorce proceeding all together we will have to file certain documents with the Court. Thus, you will be charged for the preparation and filing of the necessary documents to change or stop the divorce, or have a reconciliation. Be sure that you are prepared to work toward the completion of your lawsuit at the time we file your case.