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At the Feldstein Family Law Group we understand that the last thing you need when going through a separation is an extraordinary legal bill. As such, we pride ourselves on developing cost-saving tactics for our clients.
One that I find most effective has to do with household contents, meaning: things like furniture, electronics, dishes, stemware, and so forth.
As the saying goes, time is money. And so the time your lawyer has to spend arguing with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer about:
- your television;
- your favourite coffee mug; or
- (and I swear this has happened) the toilet paper rolls in your closet,
is money out of your pocket.
Many of my clients will vouch for the fact that the first time I meet with them, I often recommend that if they get into an argument with their spouse about who gets to keep the TV, they are better off letting him or her have it and in turn going out and buying a new, better TV. This is because when separations becomes particularly contentious, parties often make decisions out of spite as opposed to making decisions or developing arguments and strategies out of logic, which can result in a spike for the legal fees on both sides.
As a general rule of negotiation, particularly in Family Law: where conflict can be avoided – even where it feels like you are giving in – it should be.
On the small scale, adhering to this rule can save you money, and in the grand scheme of things, it can save you time (and thus even more money) as it will ensure your negotiations do not get bogged down by arguments of lesser significance (as compared to, say, custody or access issues or the sale of your home or the payment/receipt of support). Your lawyer’s time, and your hard earned money, should be saved for issues that matter.
I appreciate that there can be sentimental value to certain household contents, and so I do not wish to come across as insensitive. I recognize there is merit to arguing for the retention of family photos, or home movies and other items of this nature, and I am happy to do so where my client requires me to do so. The return of these sorts of items can often be negotiated and included in interim or final terms of settlement as agreed to by separated spouses. I even acknowledge that in some circumstances there is merit to argue for the retention of a couch or a pool table or other larger-scale items. But for the most part I wanted to demonstrate that the idea, from the client’s cost perspective, should be to prioritize. First: prioritize the issues, and then within that, prioritize the specifics within the issue. Doing so will allow you to set out a plan with me in order to work through your separation in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
If you are looking for a lawyer who puts his clients first, I encourage you to call our office at (905) 581-7222 and schedule a consultation.
For the Feldstein Family Law Group, I’m Nick Slinko.