There are NO cheap divorce attorneys
If you are considering or involved in an Arizona divorce, you may have started the journey of wading through Phoenix, AZ divorce lawyers.
Let me start by saying that some people truly do need an attorney to represent them in their divorce and this is not meant to discourage those individuals from hiring a Phoenix divorce attorney.
However, most people can and do divorce without hiring a lawyer. They may opt to complete all the divorce paperwork themselves or utilize a different, less expensive legal service, such as legal document preparation. Either way, many thousands of couples divorce in Arizona every year and the majority of those divorces do not involve attorneys.
One of the primary reasons for this is that there really is no such thing as a “cheap Phoenix divorce attorney”. If you have started to contact lawyers for consultations and quotes, you’ve probably begun to discover this.
Although some attorneys may quote you a lesser amount up front than others do, say $1,500 instead of the $3,000-$5,000 retainer that local Phoenix divorce attorneys typically charge, that doesn’t mean your final bill is going to be any less. There are several reasons some lawyers may quote a lesser amount up front.
First of all, they may be a new or young attorney and in the process of building their case load by attracting people with lower up front costs. If you are going to hire a Phoenix divorce attorney, you likely need someone with years of experience, not someone looking to gain experience at your expense.
The same thing goes for lawyers that don’t specifically practice family law. If an attorney handles cases in a variety of practice areas, such as criminal, bankruptcy, personal injury and family law, they may have a large enough practice that they don’t require a large retainer up front. But you can’t really expect them to be experts in divorce. After all, they are not focusing exclusively on divorce and family law, but spreading their practice thinly across numerous practice areas. Again, these type of lawyers may seem like a cheap Phoenix divorce attorney option, but they likely don’t have the experience you deserve if you are going to spend your hard-earned money on a lawyer.
So to our question.
Should I hire a cheap Phoenix divorce attorney?
First of all, no one is required to hire an attorney in order to get an Arizona divorce. Now, if your spouse has hired a high-powered lawyer, you should carefully consider your representation options. Going up against an experienced family law attorney on your own could be a costly mistake. Then again, spending thousands and thousands of dollars on a divorce lawyer might not be financially feasible for you. Either way, I would remind you of the old saying about things that seem too good to be true – they often are.
Over the past 10 years of working in local family law firms, I have heard countless horror stories of people opting for the “cheap” Phoenix divorce attorney only to have it cost them much, much more in the end. Hiring the wrong lawyer up front and then having to hire another attorney to not only fix the first lawyer’s mistakes, but also actually handle your divorce will cost you more in the long run.
If you decide your divorce case does require representation by an attorney, you need to prepare yourself financially. Regardless of the amount the lawyer requires up front to get started, you should be prepared to make continuous and regular payments to the law firm until your case is resolved. In rare instances I have seen divorces resolved by attorneys for between $3,000-$5,000 per spouse, but more commonly divorces cost at least $5,000-$10,000 per spouse (and sometimes much, much more.)
This is not to say lawyers or their fees are bad or wrong. They have their hourly rate and so long as you have an ethical attorney, they are only charging you for work that needs to be done in order to resolve your case. But sometimes the work that needs to be done on your case will be dictated by things out of both you and your attorney’s control, such as your spouse or their attorney’s lack of reasonableness or willingness to reach agreements. And even though that’s not your fault, you will still pay for the time your attorney spends dealing with it.
I say all of this to say, you may need to hire a Phoenix divorce attorney, but it likely won’t be cheap. And if you do hire a cheap Phoenix divorce attorney, it will likely end up costing you – either in the form of attorney’s fees in the long run or via an undesirable outcome to your divorce.
Affordable Family Law is not a law firm, nor do we employ attorneys and, as such, we cannot offer legal advice. However, we do offer inexpensive Phoenix divorce solutions that include legal document preparation, mobile notary services and filing paperwork with the Court on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more.