Getting divorced can be incredibly expensive. With lawyers charging per hour, and the costs involved with going to trial, you could end up spending a small fortune. The average cost of a divorce could range between $15,000 and $30,000 if your case goes to court.
This is the last thing that you want. Spending a fortune on divorce can leave you feeling stressed out and depressed.
Many people are afraid to get divorced because of the costs, but you need not fear!
Here are 8 helpful tips to reduce the cost of your divorce.
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1. Ditch the lawyer and use an online divorce service instead.
You can save so much money by using an online divorce service. Lawyers can charge between $300 and $500 an hour. Whereas an online divorce service charges between $299 and $500 for your entire divorce. You can opt for an online divorce if you have an uncontested divorce. So if you and your spouse agree on how to divide your assets and debts, and agree to child custody, then you can get an online divorce. There is no need to hire a lawyer. And the best part is that if you have any questions, most of these companies offer sound legal advice. They also have fantastic customer service, so you will have help 24 hours a day if need be.
By using an online divorce company, you could also be saving time. Online divorce is usually faster than going the traditional route, too. Within a maximum of 48 hours, they will send through your divorce documents.
You can also file for divorce whilst sitting at home. This means you will save money because you won’t need to hire a babysitter for your kids because you have to see a lawyer. You also don’t have to take time off work. Using an online divorce company is really one of the best ways to reduce the cost of your annulment.
2. If you have to use a lawyer….
Make sure that you understand their fee structure. Read through the entire fee agreement. How will your lawyer charge you? Does your lawyer charge per hour? What is their hourly rate? Will they charge you extra for sending emails, or for a call-out fee and so on. Ask your lawyer how much they will charge you to file your paperwork. By reading through the agreement and asking the right questions, you will know how much your lawyer will charge you and for what. By knowing this, you can also shop around for different lawyers who might be a little bit cheaper. The fee structure should be clearly stated, this will make sure that you don’t have any nasty surprises when their bill arrives.
3. It pays to be organized.
It really does pay to be organized. If you need to use a lawyer, by being organized, you will save time; saving time means saving money. As mentioned earlier, lawyers charge per hour. If you are organized and you know exactly what you would like to ask your lawyer, you won’t waste time trying to remember what it is you wanted to ask.
So write out all your questions on a piece of paper. This will help you to ask your lawyer everything you need to, and it saves you from having to make another appointment. It would also be a wise idea to arrange all your documentation in order. This will make it easier to find certain documents.
4. Do not go to trial if you can avoid it.
Battling it out in court is not the best idea if you don’t have to do so. If you want to go to trial to get back at your ex, then rethink your plan. Going to trial is very costly, it can also draw out the length of your divorce. Rather choose to use mediation services instead if you can’t come to an agreement. Mediation tends to be between 40 and 60% cheaper than going to court. Mediators also charge per hour, but most cases are settled within 3 days maximum. A mediator will help you and your spouse come to an amicable agreement, where everyone wins.
5. Fill out your own paperwork
Did you know that you can get divorce papers online? Getting your own paperwork, and filling them out yourself, is a great way to reduce the cost of your divorce. You can also get all your own supporting documentation, such as financial statements, marriage certificates, tax returns and so forth. You can also fill out your own financial disclosure documentation. If you asked your attorney to do this for you, it could cost you a lot of money in the long run.
6. Don’t start a war.
As mentioned earlier, if you can, don’t argue unnecessarily with your spouse. If you and your spouse can work together to come to an agreement regarding the division of your assets and debts, then you will save money. You won’t need a lawyer to fight for you about small things. Try not to argue about small things such as who gets the comfy lounger in the living room. By working together, you and your soon to be ex will be able to save money and reduce the cost of your divorce.
7. Use a paralegal if possible.
If you need a lawyer but you would like to save money, rather look at using a paralegal. A paralegal charges much less than a lawyer and many of them are highly capable of helping you with any questions that you might have.
7. Don’t use an appraiser if you don’t need to.
Having your home or car valued by an appraiser can also be costly. Rather choose to come to an agreement with your spouse about the value of your home or car. A simple google search in your area will help you to determine the value of your home.
Divorce doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive. By following the above tips, you will be able to really reduce the cost of your divorce! Use that extra money for a small vacation after your divorce has been finalized instead.