Every purchase we make, every transaction we enter, we automatically review and analyze the cost of the transaction and the benefit received in relation to this cost. Yet when people enter into litigation they rarely, if ever, think about this relationship. They are consumed with emotions and fears, they desperately seek answers and relief and there are far too many attorneys more than willing to neglect any discussion of cost v. benefit and instead promise many benefits with very little discussion of the costs.
Often I am in court and cannot believe that opposing counsel can ask for an amount of attorney fees with a straight face, especially when the original complaint seeks a fraction of what they seek for their own work. Their poor client gazes at the person they hired with admiration and hope never realizing they just spent three times the amount of their damages in attorney fees; never realizing that the person they admire so today will surely litigate against them if they do not pay. They will not walk away from the fees they think they are earned and then the client is inevitably left with the question, was it worth it. I realize that many issues that require litigation, especially family matters, are extremely traumatic and emotional, and often the person seeking counsel is only responding to the actions of another plaintiff; however, I also realize the money spent on this litigation is never worth it. Sadly, the people spending the money do not realize this.
Many people spend exuberant amounts of money to hire the attorney on the 35th floor never realizing that you are paying for the 35th floor and most issues in family law do not require the 35th floor firm. In fact in an equity court system in which the judge has broad discretion, I assure you you are probably not getting any more for your money than if you spend far less on an attorney willing to work at a reasonable rate who has far less overhead.
Remember, before you spend thousands of dollars, as yourself what result do you expect for the fees your are paying, are your expectations realistic? Throwing money at a domestic matter in litigation does not guarantee a result it only guarantees that you are spending a great deal of money. Make sure you understand what you are paying for and if the fees being asked are reasonable because in the end all attorneys have a fairly good idea of where your case is going what all attorneys won’t tell you is how much is it going to cost you to get there. Find the attorney who will because this is the attorney not afraid to discuss the cost v. benefit of your litigation.