There are a few hilarious and quite touching memes on social media about the cost of divorce. For example, one quote by Robin Williams was: “Divorce is expensive, I used to joke that they were going to call it ‘all the money’, but they changed it to ‘alimony’. It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.”
Many people feel this way, and worry about how they will save money during their divorce process. If you are on the verge of ending your marriage and would like to save some money, then there is hope. With a little bit of planning and research saving money will be a breeze. And you use the extra money you save for your child’s education or a well deserved holiday.
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1. Educate yourself
The more you know about the divorce process, the easier it will be to save. If you know your rights, and the costs of divorce, you won’t let a lawyer take advantage of you. You will be able to tell if someone has your best interest at heart or if they are just after your money. A lawyer who genuinely cares about your interests will not push you to go to trial unless absolutely necessary. This is because going to trial is costly. Some divorce cases that go to trial can cost $30,000 per couple or more.
The more you know about the divorce process, the easier it will be to make good decisions. You will also understand what your lawyer is doing and why. In some cases, you might even be able to complete certain steps yourself.
This could include collecting all your own supporting documents like your marriage certificate, financial statements, proof of income, and car payment receipts, etc. or even being able to get your own divorce papers. If you are educated enough on the divorce process, you might even be able to have a DIY divorce, and not have to pay a lawyer at all.
2. Be organized
By being organized you will be able to streamline the entire process. If you do decide to use an attorney for your divorce proceedings, then being organized is a key component to saving money. Having an attorney organize your documents for you can be expensive. Attorneys charge for every hour of their time.
If you can organize your own paperwork, then you will save on fees. This will also help your attorney understand your specific case and what you would like to get out of your divorce.
Before you meet with your attorney, write down any questions that you might have. This will help you remember everything that you need to ask so that you don’t forget anything and have to take up more of your attorney’s time later. It will also help you to make more efficient use of the time you spend with your lawyer so that you can get in and out faster. The less time you spend with your attorney, the more money you will save.
3. Get an uncontested divorce over the internet
Divorce over the internet has been shown to be the most cost-effective way of getting an annulment. Many younger couples are choosing to use online divorce services. The reason being is that it is way more cost-effective than traditional means of divorce.
Most basic packages start at $99. This will include your divorce papers, as well as a step by step guide on how to carry on with the entire process. Online divorce services also offer expert customer care. They can answer any questions related to your paperwork or provide you with any guidance about the divorce process that you might need.
4. Be willing to compromise
Many divorcing couples have the idea that they are going to take their spouse to the cleaners and get everything that they own. You might have an unrealistic expectation of what you can get out of your divorce proceedings. Wives might want to seek revenge on their cheating husbands by getting the house, the car, the kids, and even the family business. In reality, though, this rarely happens.
A judge wants to be fair and will look at the entire case. Be wary of a lawyer who says that you can have it all. Oftentimes, this could be like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. This type of lawyer is only interested in how much money they can get out of you, and they know that lengthy court battles are costly. The longer your case is drawn out, the more it will cost you.
By compromising on your expectations and by being realistic, you will be able to save money. If you can’t seem to come to an agreement with your spouse, use a mediator. A mediator will keep your case from going to trial, which in turn will help save you from financial devastation.
5. Be honest
Another mistake that many make, is that they try to hide their assets. Do not do this. Be honest and open about all your assets, and let your attorney know exactly what your finances look like. Your attorney will then be able to find the best way to protect your assets, and decide on what your course of action should be.
When people try to hide what their finances look like, it often leads to prolonged legal battles, and even worse, jail time. Hiding assets can undermine your case. If the judge finds out that you have been dishonest, hefty penalties will be issued. In some cases, the judge might award your spouse half of the money that you hid.
This will also just run up the cost of your divorce. So, it pays to be honest.
Divorce doesn’t have to cost you the earth. With a few simple strategic measures, you will be able to save quite a bit of money. Remember to be organized, honest, and well informed. By keeping the above tips in mind when you decide to proceed with your divorce, you will be able to have a small nest egg to celebrate your freedom.