One of the most disturbing things I hear is that they have paid someone thousands and thousands of dollars, depleted their retirement funds and they are still seeking resolution to their problem. I am sickened by the incentives inherent in this profession that reward non-resolution of problems at the financial expense of the client.
Often people come to my office, good hard working people, and they have not more money to fight their litigated matter. They have depleted all of their resources and their life savings and yet the case goes on; and sadly, when the money stops flowing the attorneys stop working. I have done hundreds of cases and can say that in my experience cases in which the individuals have resources these cases go on far beyond those cases in which individuals have limited resources. This is not because they have more money for better attorneys and longer arguments, this is simply because the attorneys have an incentive to take more money and make longer cases.
Most domestic situations are very similar and the issues are usually self evident. The process moves through a temporary hearing, mediation and a final if necessary. Yet many people feel the necessity to pay exorbitant amounts of their income fighting these fights. In an equity system you will not get revenge and the attorneys all have a fairly good idea of the end result. It is infuriating when someone who has worked their whole life comes to my office and tells me that they have spent 40K on a divorce and have not been to court yet; especially when there are very few assets and no children to argue over.
As you search for your attorney, please remember that you can ask them to commit to a fixed price you can limit your expense. Have a conversation about expectations and expenses you can afford. A good attorney can commit to a fixed price based on the details of your case and your expectations. Be a informed and wise consumer and never ever give an attorney carte blanche with your finances.