I have offered various suggestions as to how to reduce attorney fees in a divorce before. Being unreasonable, arguing over minor issues, and retaining the wrong attorney will increase attorney fees.
But there is one other approach to avoiding unnecessary attorney fees.
I recall sitting in a courtroom in the 57th District Court in Allegan several years ago. About six people were waiting to be sentenced. One asked the other why he was there. He replied, “He called me a mother _ _ _ _ _ _, I had to hit him.” All of the other convicted criminals vigorously shook their heads as they agreed with his statement. If that doesn’t strike you as strange, perhaps you will have a difficult time controlling your attorney fees.
Someone else’s behavior does not necessarily dictate how you are to behave. Between stimulus and response is a space, the freedom to think and decide. Victor Frankl put it this way: “Between the stimulus and the response is a space, and in this case lies our power and freedom.” Making good use of that space can significantly reduce your attorney fees and give your power and freedom to avoid many other problems. If you stoke the fires of conflict every time your divorcing spouse says or does something inappropriate, you are not making good use of that space between stimulus and response.
Recently, I had a client showed me some text messages between he and his wife. I had established a good relationship with my client so we could communicate openly. I hesitated a few seconds before explaining the concept of effectively using that space between stimulus and response to think before acting. Those text messages had been created during a period when my client was attempting to reconcile with his spouse. I explained to him that in 40 years of marriage the worst thing my wife had called me was something that most people would consider to be innocuous and not harmful. It certainly would not be considered foul or abusive. There should be a large pause button between the Stimulus and Response. Using that pause button between stimulus and response, can reduce your attorney fees and also reduce the chance of getting ulcers, having a stroke or becoming poor.
Using that space to pause and think won’t happen automatically. Prepare for that space. Contemplate how you want to live and how you want to be remembered. It may help you redefine who you are. Instead of it being Stimulus followed by Automatic Inflammatory Response, make it Stimulus (and then pause and reflect) and you may have a Considered Appropriate Response. Pausing and biting the tongue become easier with practice. You can be responsible. See also and creating space in the practice of your life.