There’s no question – divorce is messy and can be expensive. But, with careful planning, you can save money during the process. Here are some tips on how to reduce your costs if you are going through a divorce.
Hire an experienced family law attorney early in the process
Experienced attorneys understand the complexities of the divorce process and can anticipate actions you should take and can also help you understand the financial implications of each decision you make. Attorneys can also identify assets and debts (especially those items that may not be as obvious such as tax refunds and bonuses), and help you negotiate with your spouse’s attorney to reach a settlement that is fair and equitable for both parties. Having an experienced lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes that could otherwise be detrimental to you.
Help your attorney and be organized
Start organizing as soon as possible by creating folders for each category related to your case such as assets, debts, child custody, child support arrangements etc. The more organized and accessible the documentation is when you provide it to your attorney, the less hours your attorney will have to spend organizing documents, and the quicker your attorney can review and analyze your case. Being an active participant in your case may save you money.
Utilize technology when communicating with your attorney
Using online document sharing platforms, like Dropbox or Google Drive, can help you share documents back and forth quickly.
Pick your battles and prioritize needs
It is important to be realistic about what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not. There is no need to argue over the small items, such as an old chair or table. They can be replaced for a fraction of the cost of your attorney’s fees. With a clear idea of what you are willing to fight for, you will be in a much better position. Knowing when to not fight is as important as knowing when to fight. Your attorney will help you narrow down your goals and re-examine them as your case goes forward so that you and your legal team are on the same page as to priorities.
Don’t let emotions take over
Divorce is an emotional experience. However, allowing emotions to get the best of you could end up costing you more. Consider taking a step back from heated discussions so that decisions can be made rationally rather than emotionally as possible throughout the entire process.
Litigation is an expensive process that could leave both parties feeling drained both financially and emotionally. Negotiating an amicable settlement outside of court through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods like collaborative law or arbitration help avoid lengthy court battles and high attorney fees associated with litigation.
Reach an agreement on the distribution of personal property
Working with your spouse to divide the tangible personal property, such as household furnishings, linens and dishes, can save a lot of time in the property distribution process. There is nothing cost effective about paying an attorney to argue about dividing personal property items. Try not to tie your emotions to inanimate objects as they can typically be replaced.
Provide accurate information
Being accurate and honest with your attorney is important. This means knowing your finances and honestly sharing all information regarding income and property with your attorney. Remember, they are on your side.
Abide by the terms of the agreement and court orders
If your divorce settlement includes spousal support or child support, make your payments in full and on time. Always abide by court orders and do not play games with your former spouse regardless of how they may be acting.
The experienced family law attorneys with Conrad Trosch & Kemmy are here to assist you. We focus on a personalized approach to each case, knowing that each case is different, and each client has different goals. Contact us to learn more.