When it comes to cheap divorce lawyers in Dallas, the old adage is true—you get what you pay for. A divorce lawyer is cheap for a reason, whether that be a lack of experience, time, or skill.
We understand that divorces are expensive, but choosing a cheap divorce lawyer is not the way to cut costs.
In fact, hiring a cheap divorce lawyer in Dallas may be the most expensive decision you make.
Before we discuss the risks of using cheap divorce lawyers in Dallas, it is important to understand how lawyers charge for their services and what to look out for.
How Dallas Divorce Lawyers Charge Fees
Lawyers either structure their pricing on a flat-fee basis or charge an hourly rate.
The flat-fee pricing structure is a set amount for a specific service. This type of pricing is helpful because you can gauge your potential legal fees. However, you need to look at what services the fee includes.
Some lawyers charge a set fee for drafting a settlement agreement but charge additional fees for anything above and beyond that, such as phone calls, research, revisions, etc. You can see how the cost of cheap divorce lawyers in Dallas, TX can quickly add up.
For lawyers that bill by the hour, it is not as clear how much the legal fees will end up being. This truly depends on the complexity of your case and the experience of the attorney.
Keep in mind, however, that a lawyer’s hourly rate often reflects their level of experience. Using a higher-priced lawyer could actually save you money in the long run. A knowledgeable divorce attorney can more efficiently handle your case, thus spending less time on it and billing fewer hours.
Here are some reasons why hiring a cheap Dallas divorce lawyer is not always the most cost-effective solution.
Cheap Divorce Lawyers May Not Be Able to Handle Complex Divorce Cases
A cheap divorce lawyer may not have the experience or skill to handle a complicated divorce. Often, cheap divorce lawyers only take clients with simple divorce cases because that is either the extent of their legal knowledge or all they have time for.
Complex divorce cases involve child custody arrangements, alimony payments, hard-to-value assets, debts, and those with detailed divorce settlement agreements. With these types of cases, you need a lawyer who knows the intricacies of the Texas Family Code.
For example, Texas is a community property state, meaning any property you and your spouse acquire during the marriage is considered community property and belongs to both of you. There are many nuances and exceptions when it comes to determining what is community property and what is not. Texas divorce courts divide community property based on what is just and right. You want a lawyer who will build a seamless case arguing what is “just and right” for you.
This requires time, legal knowledge, and meticulous calculating.
Cheap Divorce Lawyers Often Focus on Volume Over Value
Some low-cost divorce attorneys in Texas make up for their fees by taking on lots of clients. This type of business style can result in disorganization and lack of communication.
A cheap divorce lawyer with too many cases may:
- Overlook important information about your case;
- Miss a filing deadline;
- Be unresponsive to your emails and calls;
- Fail to provide personal attention; and
- Pass you off to another lawyer when complications arise in your case.
If a cheap divorce lawyer in Dallas is only focusing on getting more clients, he or she may not have your best interests in mind. You want the best affordable divorce attorney who values your case and will take the time to advocate for you.
Cheap Divorce Lawyers Can Make Costly Mistakes
Both inexperienced and overworked divorce attorneys can make detrimental mistakes. If you go with a cheap divorce attorney, you may end up hiring an experienced Dallas divorce attorney down the road to clean up the oversights and mistakes that were made. This can be quite costly.
A cheap divorce attorney’s mistakes could be costly in other ways too. For example, if the attorney includes ambiguous language in the divorce agreement, the door may be open for future litigation. An inexperienced divorce attorney who does not correctly identify or calculate your community property may cause you to lose out on assets that rightfully belong to you.
Hiring a Cheap Divorce Lawyer May Prolong Your Case
New lawyers often charge lower fees to build their client base. Unfortunately, their inexperience may cause your divorce to drag on and become more costly for you. Being unfamiliar with Texas family law means your cheap divorce lawyer is learning on your dime. The extra time it takes to research something or gather information is prolonging your divorce.
For example, with a contested divorce, your attorney must negotiate, mediate, collect evidence, and prepare to take your case to trial. An experienced attorney can do this more efficiently, resulting in time saved and fewer hours billed.
Contact the Experienced Divorce Attorneys at The Hunnicutt Law Group
Hiring a cheap divorce lawyer may be tempting, especially if you and your spouse agree to the divorce. However, it does not take much for emotions to flare and feelings to change. Your divorce will have long-lasting impacts on you and your family. Choose a lawyer who will advocate for you and handle your case efficiently and compassionately.
Lead attorney Stephen Hunnicutt has been practicing law for more than 30 years. He is a skilled negotiator and a fierce advocate in the courtroom. Recognizing that every family and every divorce is unique, Mr. Hunnicutt provides personal attention when working toward the best possible outcome for you.
We are proudly located in Dallas, Texas, and we also offer video conferencing. We want to help you through to the next phase in your life.