If you are thinking about going forward with a divorce, you’re probably going into the process having heard plenty about it. Many people talk about the stress of the divorce, others will complain about the sheer amount of paperwork and time that a divorce can take, and almost everyone who has been through the divorce process can speak on the emotional stress and pressure that comes with divorce. On top of all of that, however, it’s possible that you’ve heard about one of divorce’s biggest factors: cost.
If you are just starting out or are thinking about the divorce process, you may be shocked to find that divorce is a $28 billion-a-year industry with an average cost of $20,000. These costs come from the time and effort that is required in litigation, filing fees, attorney’s fees, and other general (yet necessary) costs that come with filing for divorce.
But don’t fret- while families tend to pay, on average, between $10,000 and $20,000 on a divorce, there are many ways you can go about doing your divorce in a smart and cost-efficient manner. While the whole process of going through divorce may not be easy, we’re here to make sure you know about what you can do to reduce the cost (and subsequent stress) of your divorce.
Determine that Divorce is Best for You
While it does not happen too often, there are certainly instances where spouses go through the process of getting divorced only to find themselves married once again shortly after the divorce has been finalized. While there are plenty of reasons why this happens, it could be due to the fact that their divorce may have been a dramatic and spontaneous misstep.
With such a high price tag and the emotional toll that comes along with the process of obtaining a legal divorce, it is important that you and your spouse know that getting a divorce is the best and final option for the family.
Discuss your Divorce Ahead of Time
Once you figure out that divorce is the next logical step, you and your spouse should, if possible, organize a time to talk privately about what you both agree on as far as terms of the divorce. This is often referred to as a “kitchen table” divorce because it involves you and your spouse getting together and working out your own divorce settlement.
Specifically, you and your spouse should make sure to discuss aspects of your separation such as child support, custody, alimony, visitation plans, and more. You will likely also want to discuss, identify, and figure out how to best divide your marital property.
In many cases, this will be an emotional and difficult discussion. It is not likely that you and your spouse will agree on every point. While it may take many meetings and some compromises, any time you have to work out the specifics of your divorce and find common ground is sure to be worth the time and energy. The more you and your spouse can agree on, the more likely you will be able to reduce the cost of later mediation and eliminate the possibility of litigation.
Ask Yourself if you Need a Lawyer
If you and your spouse cannot come to a compromise on important points, this may be a good sign that you need an attorney to ensure that you are getting your best interests met when it comes to settling your divorce. While it may take some planning and time, many attorneys offer free consultations to ensure that they can give you the help you need.
Don’t Aim for Litigation
When people think of the legal system in any capacity, it is common to believe that there will be a mandatory court date where you will have to face a judge and have the fate of your divorce’s future decided. Fortunately, that is not the case.
Many spouses do not have to litigate their divorce. In fact, many spouses find themselves taking advantage of mediation, which involves neutral parties representing each spouse and, in some cases, a neutral party representing the child to make sure the child’s needs are met in the divorce settlement. Mediation is good option for those who are seeking a divorce and want to reduce costs. Not only is litigation emotional, but it can be expensive and time-consuming.
Remember: You’re Not Alone
While it may not be the easiest thing to do, reducing your divorce costs is definitely possible. The best way you can go about reducing the cost of your divorce is by enlisting the help of a trusted divorce and family law expert. If you are interested in learning more about how to reduce the costs of your, our family law specialists are willing to answer your questions. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.
Photo by Issam Hammoudi on Unsplash