When couples agree to disagree, divorces can turn into expensive legal battles. A contested divorce, where couples cannot agree on one or more important issues, can rage on for months, eating up money by the hour. Attorneys can be expensive, but you may also be facing payment for certain specialists who are called upon to give expert advice and opinions, such as child custody evaluation experts, real estate appraisers, forensic accounting specialists and more. This outpouring of money could end up putting your post-divorce financial situation at risk, with the negative effects lasting for years and years. Read on to learn some tricks and hints on having a thriftier divorce.
Get some help: This is one area where you must spend some money now to save money later. With the help of a good therapist, you can learn coping skills to deal with your new situation instead of taking it out on your spouse in court. When issues go unresolved, there are few alternatives to fighting it out in court and calling in experts, and therapy may help you focus on your top priorities and keep your emotions out of it. For example, you cannot allow your negative feelings to cause you to punish your spouse through divorce court; many divorces nowadays are no-fault and more of a legal parting than a plan to get even with a spouse who did you wrong. Moreover, therapy could make it possible for you and your spouse to work some issues out outside of court, which will always be cheaper.
Speak to your attorney about costs: Many clients are reluctant to have a frank discussion about financial issues with their attorneys, but you must make it clear (preferably from the beginning) how much you can afford. Everyone has budgets, so there is no shame in speaking up and letting your attorney know your limits. Divorces are seldom "one price fits all", and once you attorney has a good idea of your situation decisions can be made accordingly. While it's best not interfere with your attorney's court strategies, be sure that he or she understands that you want to keep costs as low as possible.
Make it easier for your lawyer to help you: Hiring experts to access financial documents can be expensive, and you may be surprised at the ways you can help with that task. See if you can take care of some of the tasks yourself, and save yourself some money. For example, the sooner you get copies of important documentation, the easier it will be to access it. In fact, if you can get copies of bank statements, deeds, investment account statements, vehicle titles, tax returns and more before you even file for divorce, you will find it easier, faster, and less expensive to comply with those requests.
Contact your local family lawyer for more information and assistance.