If you cannot mediate your divorce, for whatever reason, you can still take steps to minimize your legal fees. Some simple suggestions from my side of the fence:
1. Cooperate with your lawyer!
Lawyers need assistance from their clients to prepare their cases. From the gathering of documents, the naming of witnesses, and preparation of Financial Statements, the less time your attorney and their staff spend chasing you for information, the more time they can spend productively on your matter. Organized clients make our jobs a lot easier.
2. Don't call your lawyer over every little thing.
Lawyers charge for their time, so use it wisely. Instead of calling 3 times with 3 quick questions, call once and discuss all issues. Remember the lawyer's role: he or she gives you advice, prepares your case, and represents you in Court and in negotiations. Venting is better left for friends, (adult) family members, and counselors.
3. Non-legal questions can be handled by secretaries and paralegals.
Questions on scheduling and how to fill out Financial Statements can more economically be handled by staff for free or at a much lower hourly rate.
4. Take your lawyer's advice!
If you are not going to take your lawyer's advice, then you are wasting your money. If you don't trust the advice, why did you hire the lawyer? Maybe it's time for a change. If you don't trust any attorney's advice, maybe it's time to re-think your attitude.
5. Pick your battles.
It is not economical to spend $200-$500 per hour to argue over the silverware and used furniture. Prioritize and remember what is important. Closure saves you money and peace of mind.