If you are about to get divorced then you know how emotionally draining it can be. The stress can be unbearable. Not only is divorce emotionally stressful, but it can also be extremely expensive. Many people are left with empty pockets after a divorce. But what a lot of these people don’t know, is that there are ways in which you can reduce the cost of your divorce.
Here are some of the best money-saving tips that can help you cut the cost of your divorce!
1. You need to be realistic
It is easy to get caught up in the idea that you can get out of your divorce with everything including the house, the car, the business, the kids and the dog. Sadly though, this doesn’t always happen. It is important to make a list of everything that you would like out of your divorce and then give that list to your attorney. Your attorney will help you see if your expectations are realistic. If your goals aren’t realistic then your attorney will help you draft a new list that will be achievable. If your attorney promises you that you can have it all, then you need to weary. They might be trying to take advantage of the situation. Remember fighting and going to trial can end up costing you a small fortune. Some attorneys know this and want you to keep using them so that they can make more money from you. Always choose a lawyer who will be honest with you and help you set realistic goals.
2. Work things out
The best way to save money during a divorce is to not get divorced in the first place. If there is any glimmer of hope that you and your spouse can work things out, then work it out. Try marital counseling first, before signing divorce papers. Sometimes a marriage can be saved with the right kind of help.
3. Consider a DIY divorce
If you have been to a marital counselor and still can’t make your marriage work, consider a DIY divorce. This can save you a lot of money. You will need to be organized though. You can get divorce papers off the internet. Once you fill them all out and get all your supporting documentation together, you will be able to file the papers yourself at your local clerk’s office. There is usually a fee that you will have to pay. The amount of the fee will depend on which state you live in. You could always hire a lawyer to just check that your paperwork is all correct.
If you have an uncontested divorce, then a DIY annulment is possible. Make sure that you and your spouse have no disputes on how to split your assets and debts. This option typically works better if you don’t have children.
4. Mediation is better than going to trial
If you really want to save costs, avoid going to trial. Mediation is much cheaper than going to court. Mediators help you and your partner come to an agreement that will be best for both of you. On average, mediation takes a maximum of 3 days to come to an agreement. This is so much better than battling it out in court for months on end. Court battles can cost up to $50,000 whereas mediation usually costs between $5000 to $8000. The cost will vary depending on who you see. So check out prices from a few mediators and then choose the one that will work best for you. Mediators charge by the hour. So if you solve your issues relatively quickly, you will be able to save money.
5. Choose an online divorce company
Using an online divorce company is becoming very popular. They are affordable, efficient and easy to use. An online divorce service does it all. They walk you through your documentation, tell you which supporting documents you need, and in some cases, even file your documentation for you. Most online divorce companies have a fantastic customer support service which will help you with any questions that you might have. If you are still unsure about something, some even offer legal advice from an attorney at an extra fee.
Most online divorce companies charge around $199. That is a huge amount of savings in comparison to litigation which could be up to $50,000.
6. Look for attorneys who offer free consultations
Most attorneys charge per hour for consultations, but there are some who offer free consultations. It’s a good idea to seek out an attorney that offers this free service.
7. Be organized
If you have your paperwork organized and all your questions prepared in advance, you can save money. Attorneys charge per hour. Some even charge for time spent on the phone and answering emails. By being organized, you will be able to make the most of your time with your attorney. By making a list of questions to ask your attorney ahead of time, you can avoid having to make more appointments because you forgot to ask something.
8. Ask for a break down of fees
Something really important to do is ask your attorney for a complete breakdown of all their fees. For example, do they charge a call-out fee or a fee to send emails or make calls? Be sure to find out exactly what your attorney is charging you for. If you know what their exact costs are, you will be able to save money by avoiding unnecessary fees.
9. Don’t use your attorney as a psychologist
Remember your attorney has been trained in the law. Using your attorney as a psychologist will only cost you more in the long run. Attorneys charge per hour. So if you use them to sit and chat about your heartache, they will charge you for that time. If you are struggling emotionally, it is better to see someone who is trained to deal with the pain. Seeing a psychologist or a counselor will help you to deal with your emotional hurt.
10. Honesty is the best policy
Disclose all your assets. Do not lie about your assets. If you get caught hiding assets, you could be fined by the judge. Some people have even been criminally charged for doing so.
As you can see there are many ways to cut down the costs of your divorce. Divorce can be really heartbreaking, but it doesn’t have to break you financially too. If you keep all these points in mind, you can be sure to save money.