Okay so you are at the point where you have made several attempts to save your marriage, each one of your attempts was unsuccessful…it is time to let go of the marriage and move forward with the divorce. Before you move forward with the divorce though, step back, pause for a second to take a deep breathe, and ask yourself ‘Can I afford to get a divorce?’
Divorce is probably going to be a difficult time in your life…right now, saving money is probably the furthest thing from your mind. That is the reason why we posted this article. No matter what your situation or circumstances, if you are thinking about moving forward with a divorce, take a second to read the following tips. Doing so could save you hundreds in costs and attorney fees:
Tip #1 – Hire a mediator. You should seriously consider hiring a divorce mediator before hiring a divorce attorney. Mediators cost less than attorneys and you will only need to pay for their expertise when negotiating the really complicated issues like property division and child custody.
Tip #2 – Resolve as many issues as possible between the two of you up front. Try to settle the issues of property division, debt division, and child custody between you without any involvement from your attorneys. If you are successful in this, you and your spouse will both save a lot of money. The bottom line is this – lawyer time, is expensive time.
Tip #3 – Do not surprise your spouse by springing the divorce on them. Inform your spouse beforehand that you are filing for divorce. If you file without notification, your partner might have an emotional reaction and intentionally complicate the issues. The more complicated your case get…the more money you will have to spend on attorney’s fees
Tip #4 – If you are the one who is filing for divorce, determine first what type of divorce is right for your situation. Ask yourself, ‘Is my divorce going to be contested or uncontested? ‘Will my divorce be based on fault or no-fault? If you answered ‘uncontested’ and ‘no-fault’, congratulations, you and your spouse are going to be able to save a lot of time, money, and effort. Contact a divorce attorney and tell him that you need ‘uncontested divorce’ paperwork. The divorce attorney will draft the paperwork for you within a matter of days for a few hundred dollars.
Tip #5 – Get a referral(s) from close friends and family members who have gone through a divorce. They might know a great attorney who is affordable. Here is a helpful tip, learn from the experiences of your friends and family members…research the divorce attorneys they recommend.
Tip #6 – Calling Legal Aid and your local Bar Association is another option. Legal Aid will represent people who cannot afford an attorney. Your local Bar Association will have a Lawyer Referral Service. Ask to get connected with an experienced, affordable divorce attorney.
Tip #7 – Most people do not know this – in almost every jurisdiction there is an independent Lawyer Referral Service. The way these services work is they have a list of attorneys who will work on your case for a reduced hourly rate. You sign up for these services through the service company…they get you connected to the attorney. The attorney will work on your case for a reduced hourly rate and typically, will only bill you for two (2) hours of work each month. By using one of these services, your case will last a little longer, but you will get effective lawyering at an affordable rate.
Tip #8 – Be helpful to your attorney. Cooperate with your attorney and try to be helpful throughout the divorce process. Your attorney will charge based on how much time he spends on your case, so if you can do some of the leg work for him, like retrieving documents, you will use less of his time and therefore spend less your money.
You and I both know that getting a divorce is a expensive, but the cost of divorce does not have to be astronomical. By doing a little bit of research and by applying the tips contained in this article, you can save yourself hundreds and maybe thousands.