When hiring an attorney to handle your divorce or custody issues, there are a few tips you can use to help you pinch your pennies. Remember that sometimes, “you get what you pay for,” so make sure you are paying for the quality of attorney you want! Here are my four best tips for saving money and getting high quality legal representation:

Have a list of goals and a plan before you meet with your attorney for the first time. For example, if you are seeking help with a divorce, you should know where you plan to live as a newly single person, whether you are able to pay your bills (will you need to switch from a part-time to a full-time job?), whether you will need alimony and child support to survive (and if so, how much), how you want to co-parent (including decision-making, parenting time, insurance, extracurriculars etc.).

Pick the best attorney. Choose an attorney that you can communicate with, feel comfortable with, and know will do the best job of standing up for you. You should trust him or her to help you be realistic and also to fight for you on important issues.

Answer questions from your attorney promptly. And submit any requested information promptly so that your attorney doesn’t spend billable hours reminding you of deadlines.

Set priorities and be realistic. Make sure your attorney knows what issues are important to you, and which ones you are willing to let slide. Makes sure your attorney is clear about what your goals are so that she can hone in her efforts on reaching those goals.

Predict sticking points. Tell your attorney if you think that certain issues will be a problem and if you think that certain issues will go smoothly. This will allow your attorney to prepare accordingly.