Do you know that a divorce is on the horizon? Maybe you have been flirting with the idea of filing for divorce for a year or more and now is the time to act. Perhaps you and your spouse haven’t been getting along and you suddenly received divorce papers in the mail. Regardless, one of the things that are sure to start weighing on your mind is the cost of the divorce. You’ve likely heard horror stories of just how expensive this process can be, and you are dreading the financial toll it could take.
However, just because divorces can be expensive doesn’t mean they have to be. Below, we’ll be looking at some of the various ways that you can reduce the cost of divorce and keep more of your money in your bank account.
Get an Uncontested Divorce
You want to be divorced, and you want it to happen as quickly as possible. You both want to minimize your expenses, as well. Sometimes, you and your ex both want the same thing, and you can reach agreements on things like how assets and property are split, parenting time, etc. This is a best-case scenario, but it can and does happen.
An uncontested divorce is one where you don’t expect that your spouse is going to disagree with you on any parts of the divorce. It is also possible to get an uncontested divorce when you know that your spouse will not respond to the divorce paperwork they receive. If you are the one who receives the paperwork and you agree with the terms, you can get an uncontested divorce.
Often, uncontested divorces will occur in marriages that are still relatively young, such as five years or less. In these cases, there will often be less to split, so there are fewer disagreements. However, even with longer marriages, an uncontested divorce is possible as long as everyone can get on the same page.
Most of the time, you won’t need to hire legal counsel for an uncontested divorce, which can keep the costs down even more.
Going through Mediation
Sometimes, there will be certain issues that you can’t agree on with your spouse. You might have a few sticking points, or there could be a substantial amount of disagreement. To help make matters a bit easier, you and your spouse could hire a third-party mediator to help you find ways to compromise and agree. In some cases, the court might order mediation to help resolve differences. They don’t want your case to go to court any more than you do.
If you are going to try mediation, it’s important to be willing to listen to what’s being offered and to compromise when it makes sense. Don’t do anything that will put you at a disadvantage, but think about the endgame, not just trying to get everything that you want.
If you are of the mindset that you deserve more and want to fight for it, you’ll need to work with an attorney, and this is where the costs can go up. This is because highly contentious cases could spend months or years in the court system. The divorce could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Today, there is plenty of information online that can give you some great insight into what you need to do during your divorce. Many people have opted for DIY divorces, and this can be a good option for many couples. This tends to work better for relatively simple divorces, of course, or those where the couple can reach a settlement agreement.
However, it’s possible to represent yourself even in more difficult cases if you have the time and are willing to put in the work that it will take. If you choose a DIY divorce, make sure you are getting the right information. If you are in Arizona, find DIY materials specifically for your county. Don’t follow the advice that applies to other states. The laws in Arizona are very specific.
Limited Scope Services
What if you want to work with an attorney, but you worry that it will balloon to the cost out of your price range? Find an attorney that will work with you on a limited scope basis. This simply means that you have an attorney that can handle the parts of your case you don’t want to do on your own. They might handle negotiations or litigation, for example, but you could take care of the paperwork. Maybe you just need them for paperwork and occasional advice.
Limited scope legal services provide you with legal help when it’s needed, but you can control how much you are spending much easier. It will help to keep the costs of the divorce down.
Work with a Paralegal
One of the best ways to save some money on divorce is to work with a paralegal rather than going right to an attorney. Keep in mind that the paralegal is not able to give you legal advice and counsel. However, they can help you take care of all of the paperwork involved in the divorce, which will free up your time. It also ensures you are doing it all correctly, so there aren’t any delays in the divorce.
If you have to go to litigation, you will have to represent yourself. However, most divorces don’t end up in the courtroom. Instead, the issues will generally be able to be resolved before you have to go to court.
What If You Have a Complex Divorce?
Sometimes, certain factors could make a divorce more difficult than others. This might be because there is a substantial amount of property and assets at stake or there are minor children, etc. When this happens, getting a cheap divorce is likely to be more difficult. It could still be done if you are willing to put in the work and time, but a lot of this will be up to your ex. If they are going to use an attorney, you’ll want to have one of your own.