Hi, I’m Susan, the paralegal, and I want to talk to you about how your case costs can be driven up when the other side is hostile, when there’s high conflict. This would involve conflict or hostility either from the adverse, which is the person on the other side. If it’s a divorce it might be your ex or your soon-to-be ex, or it could actually be their attorney.
Time is money in the practice of law, and most lawyers do charge for their time, so if you’re encountering a high-conflict case, whether it’s divorce, custody, child support, you have to know that that conflict is going to cost you more money to hire a legal representative.
The big question is, what can you really control? Well, the only thing you can control is you and your behavior, and not being part of that conflict and hostility, and that’s a hard thing to do sometimes when emotions are really high.
The other thing you can control is selecting the right attorney, because you need one that’s used to working in high-conflict cases. Those kinds of cases are really not an arena for amateurs or wallflowers, so choose your lawyer accordingly.
The other thing to try and understand is it’s really not appropriate to blame your attorney for the conflict. Chances are you came to the law firm and that attorney with the conflict already in play, so it’s not your attorney that made it happen.
You need to be prepared, choose the right attorney, and in the preparation process, you also need to be aware that the costs are probably going to escalate if there are hostile parties.