16 Mar Trying to Divorce on a Budget? 4 Ways to Decrease the Amount Spent on Attorney’s Fees
As you know, divorces are notorious for costing a lot of money. But with the implementation of a few key strategies, you can decrease the amount spent on attorney’s fees and divorce on a budget. These four tips will show you how you can save money on a process that frequently breaks the banks.
1. Do Your Part of the “Divorce Legwork”
If you can perform certain tasks, you will require fewer hours from the attorney. Since attorneys usually charge by the hour, the better prepared you are, the more money you can save.
Before your first consultation with your attorney, ask them what paperwork or documents they require in order to help them understand your situation. While some attorneys supply a written list of these items, you should still clarify with them in order to be sure. These often include income tax returns, pay stubs, copies of any deeds, and more.
Also be sure to write down all of your questions and concerns before your session to help you optimize the time you have with your attorney.
2. Don’t Disrespect the Person that you are Divorcing
By far the best thing two divorced parents can give their children is respect for each other. When divorced parents are civil with each other, the family experience is much better. Not only does respectful communication go a long way in strengthening the family, but it also helps you divorce on a budget.
During a divorce, conflict is expensive. It takes time and causes a lot of friction. By making the choice to work together during a divorce, both sides will walk away with more money and in much better spirits.
While it is common that divorcing couples feel anger toward each other, it is important to keep the destructive feeling out of the process as best as you can. If you want to save money on your divorce, make an agreement with your spouse that you are going to work together as best as possible. Keep respectful and calm. You’ll save a lot of money by doing so.
3. Don’t Pay Attorneys to Determine Who Gets the Silverware
If you nitpick about who gets the furniture or the silverware during your divorce, you will probably end up spending more than it would cost to simply replace these items. There are several strategies you can utilize to keep costs down and the divorce simple.
With the meet halfway method, everything is simply divided right down the middle. This 1 for 1 transaction is brutally fair and speeds up the divorce process. You can also do a similar method where individual items are “balanced out”. For example, one person can get the car while the other gets the furniture.
Another method is to have one party create two lists that include a balanced amount of items in each. Then the other party can choose which list they want. This is an extremely fair method since both parties play an equal role in the selection process but don’t have to work together on the small details. You can also save a lot of money by using this method because you can draw the list up yourself without much guidance from an attorney.
4. Use Neutral Experts on the Advice of your Attorney
If your divorce is confrontational and things are not going smoothly, the attorneys might need to hire an expert to issue their opinion. In some cases, these experts might need to show up and testify in court. But often both attorneys hire an expert for this process. And you end up paying two experts.
Alternatively, if you can choose an expert together, you find significant savings. One method to do this is to have an attorney or mediator suggest a few experts then both parties can interview them. When an expert is mutually agreed upon, they can offer neutral advice that benefits both sides.
One example would be needing to hire an appraiser to tell you the value of your home. If you have a neutral appraiser, they can offer you a fair price that is neither high nor low. This makes it much easier for both parties to assess the value of the home without the need to go back and forth in a battle.
By utilizing these four tips, you can divorce on a budget and save both parties a significant amount of money. All too frequently, couples allow their anger and other feelings to get the best of them and end up wasting time and spending too much money on trivial matters. If you can commit to working together, the savings you’ll witness will be obvious and substantial.
If you have any questions about attempting to divorce on a budget, give us a call at +1.786.309.8588.