Divorce is known for being a painful, stressful process, and sometimes, it can be very expensive, which only adds stress to an already difficult situation. If you’re heading toward a divorce, there are steps you can take that can help lower the costs of your divorce. Here are 4 pieces of advice to help drive down the costs of your divorce:
1. Choose a Collaborative Approach
The best way to minimize the costs of your divorce is to avoid a trial by opting for a collaborative approach. To have a collaborative divorce, you’ll need to set your difference aside, treat your spouse with respect throughout the divorce process, and aim to arrive at an amicable resolution that you can both live with. With a collaborative divorce, each spouse works toward a settlement with the help of their respective attorneys.
2. Organize Your Financial Records
Divorce may be highly emotional, but more than anything it’s a financial transaction. So, the more you can do to keep your attorney from asking for your financial records, the lower your legal fees. Your divorce attorney will spend a considerable amount of their time understanding your finances and organizing your case file. When you’re detailed and gather all of your financial records in an organized and timely fashion, it can reduce your legal fees.
If you can gather your documents electronically and rename them in a format and naming convention used by your attorney, even better. Paper documents these days cost more for attorneys to process.
3. Email Instead of Calling
Remember, your divorce attorney’s time is their trade, so you want to be conscious that each interaction costs money. If you’re clear and concise, email can be an excellent time saver, but be cognizant about what you email.
If you want to vent about your spouse, it’s probably not the best thing to email your lawyer about. And if a call is necessary, schedule it in advance so you’re both prepared to discuss the issues at hand. Have your list of questions ready and take detailed notes during the call so you don’t have to call your attorney back later.
4. Divide Your Own Household Items
You probably have a whole house full of items to split, such as furniture, TVs, PCs, dishes, lawnmowers, appliances, etc. To save money on attorney fees, we recommend figuring out who will get what household items among yourselves. You don’t have to pay someone to help you decide who gets the dishes, furniture, rugs, and garden tools. If you’re fighting about the recliner, it’s probably not about the recliner. Instead, it’s probably about some emotion tied to the recliner. Try to figure out what that is before you pay someone to fight over it.