Getting a divorce is a major change in your life. It might be a welcome change that you know is the right thing for you, or it might have struck you by surprise when your spouse filed for a divorce. Regardless, it will take an emotional toll, and it is likely to be quite draining on you, mentally and even physically. Of course, we’ve all heard horror stories of the cost, and are likely researching tips for reducing the cost of your divorce. In some cases, it could end up costing tens of thousands of dollars.
The cost of divorce is one of the things that causes the most worry and stress. Fortunately, there are some things you can do that could help to cut down on the costs. Check out some of the tips below to get a better idea of exactly what you can do to bring down the financial burden.
Learn About Divorce
First, one of the best things you can do for yourself when you are going through a divorce is to educate yourself. Learn as much as possible about divorce in your state. Understand the statutes, requirements for filing, how long someone needs to be a resident before filing, etc.
When you take the time to learn more about the processes and the ins and outs of divorce, it is less likely you will be surprised. This will typically mean fewer calls to the attorney and thus less cost for the divorce.
Work With Paralegals
Did you know that paralegals can help you with many of the things that attorneys can help you with when you are going through a divorce? The paralegals can prepare documents for you, help you file them, and help you have a better understanding of the process of divorce and what to expect at each step. The cost of hiring a paralegal for these services tends to be far less than what you would pay an attorney, as well. Working with these professionals can be a fantastic way to save money on your divorce.
Of course, you also have to be aware of the limitations of paralegals. Even though they are helpful, they can’t represent you as legal counsel. Additionally, they are not permitted to provide you with legal advice.
Try to Reach Agreements and Settle to Avoid Litigation
Why do so many divorces end up costing so much? It’s typically because people are spending a lot of time fighting one another over large and small disagreements. The cases drag on and never seem to get anywhere. They end up being fought out in court for months or years without any closure. No one wants to go through that hassle and expense.
The best thing you can do is work to reach agreements on as many of the main aspects of your divorce as possible. This can be done just between you and your spouse, or with the help of a mediator if you feel a third party will be beneficial.
Settling the divorce is going to offer another benefit. It will allow you and your spouse to come through your divorce on your own terms. When you end up going through litigation, it often ends up being the judge who makes the final call. This means that both you and your ex might be disappointed with the results.
Litigation is also where a lot of the cost of divorce lies. When you are in court, you naturally want to have an attorney representing you. This costs a substantial amount of money. Staying out of litigation could help you save countless thousands of dollars.
Consider DIY for an Uncontested Divorce
What if you are going through a divorce that you and your spouse feel will be relatively simple. Maybe you both agree on all of the aspects of the divorce. If that’s the case, you won’t need to hire attorneys for the case since you won’t be going through litigation. Everything is going to be relatively simple, which means a DIY divorce is not only possible, but it could be a good idea. This will keep the costs to a minimum.
If you are going to DIY the divorce, though, you may still want to work with a paralegal or legal assistant just to make sure all of the paperwork is handled properly.
Look for Flat Fee Divorce Options
Flat fee divorces can be a fantastic option for saving money, as well. This will allow you to lock in the prices for the divorce, so you just pay one fee for all of the attorney’s services. This can be a great way to save money, but it’s important to remember that this is not an option available through all attorneys.
This option allows people to know at the start exactly how much they will be paying the attorney for the entire divorce from start to finish. A lot of people prefer this certainty because it means there aren’t any unwelcome surprises.
Another option for saving money on an attorney is to work with one on a limited-scope basis. With this option, you only pay for the attorney services you need rather than engaging them full time. Essentially, you are unbundling the services and can then pick and choose what you need. For example, you might only want to use an attorney to help you with the paperwork. Maybe you only want the attorney to handle elements that have to go through litigation.
Use an Attorney Only When Needed
One of the mistakes that people often make when they are getting divorced is talking to their attorney each time that they have a question. Every time you initiate contact, you will have to pay for the services of the attorney if you are paying them hourly. The way to reduce costs is to combine as many questions as possible, so the attorney can answer them all in just one conversation.
As you can see, there are things you can do that will help you to cut down on the overall cost of your divorce.