Litigated divorce can be extremely expensive. Fortunately, there are some things you can do, and divorce options available, that can reduce the cost of divorce and make it a little easier to bear.
Contact a professional at BestLegalChoices.com to learn more about the cost of a collaborative divorce to see if this approach may be right for you.
Here are 9 ways to reduce the cost of divorce.
Hiring a lawyer is going to be one of the most expensive parts of going through a divorce. Educate yourself about divorce as much as possible. The more you familiarize yourself with terminology in advance, the less time your lawyer will have to spend to educate you.
Remember that you are hiring an attorney because they are skilled and knowledgeable about something you are not. If you don’t understand something, ask questions and listen to the answers. It doesn’t make sense to pay an attorney to provide you with information and advice if you’re just going to ignore them because “your neighbor’s cousin’s sister’s friend got way more child support than your lawyer said you would get.”
Consider Out-of-Court Divorce Options
Divorce litigation is expensive, unpredictable and exhausting. Sometimes, it feels like the lawyers are the only ones who “win.” Plus, litigation can be destructive to relationships.With very few exceptions, going to court to resolve your divorce should be the last resort. Divorce mediation and collaborative divorce are great options when both spouses are willing to to be open to settlement discussions.
Use Divorce Mediation
In divorce mediation, both spouses work with a mediator facilitates a series of discussions to help them reach an agreement. Some meditators charge by the hour while others may charge for half- and full-day rates. The amount of time it takes to mediate your divorce is based on how many topics you need to work through to create the settlement agreement.
Consider a Collaborative Divorce
The collaborative process is one of the most productive and cost-effective methods of divorce for couples. This future-focused approach can help save time and money as both sides work together to reach an agreement. Finding an agreement that’s right for everyone involved can be accomplished by working together with a team of experienced professionals to make sure the family’s legal, financial and communication needs are addressed.
While the cost of a collaborative divorce varies, some professionals are adopting a flat-fee model, so you know what your costs are up-front. Other professionals charge for their services on an hourly basis. Make sure to ask how your professionals charge so you know what to expect.
Organize Financial Records
One of the biggest costs of divorce is the “discovery” process. This is because your lawyer has to organize and analyze a lot of financial information. Make sure you organize your financial records including bank statements, tax returns, and other documents to make the process less chaotic. Ask your lawyer if they prefer electronic documents instead of paper. When you are paying a lawyer anywhere from $300 to $500 per hour, discovery costs can add up fast. In the collaborative divorce process, a neutral financial professional gathers and analyzes all of the documents, so rather than paying two lawyers to review everything, you can have one expert take on this roll.
Consider a Therapist
Divorce attorneys are not therapists. They will often let you vent and speak about how you feel, but their role is not to offer emotional support through your divorce process. Furthermore, the cost to hire a therapist to listen to and help you work through your problems can be much less expensive than using your divorce attorney for this purpose.
If you and your spouse can have a civil conversation, try discussing your thoughts about dividing assets, household items, vehicles, and any other property before approaching an attorney. If you can figure out these items, you won’t have to. Figuring out those issues on your own means you don’t have to pay a lawyer to figure it out for you.
Divorce costs really add up when you and your spouse can’t agree on even the simplest of issues. You can “agree to disagree” on certain issues, but if you are willing to participate in the process and compromise on your demands, you will be able to limit legal fees for those simpler issues. Many couples are able to discuss and agree on asset division, spousal maintenance, splitting parenting time, major decisions about children, calculating child support, etc., either on their own, in mediation or with the help of settlement-minded attorneys.
- Avenue, Next. “8 Ways To Lower The Cost Of A Divorce.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 22 July 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2019/07/22/8-ways-to-lower-the-cost-of-a-divorce/#2a321bfb4a31.
- Rosen, Lee. “Guide to Reducing The Cost of Divorce.” North Carolina Divorce Law – Raleigh Divorce Lawyer, 5 Oct. 2018, www.rosen.com/divorce/divorcearticles/reducing-cost-of-divorce/.
- Rule 67.1. Collaborative Law Proceedings – Arizona Court Rules, govt.westlaw.com/azrules/Document/NA4DB1B105B6711E5AD5F9A2BFCFA5B70?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default).
- True cost of litigation vs Collaborative Divorce
- What is the Cost of a Collaborative Divorce?
- What is the cost of divorce in Arizona?
Collaborative Divorce Is a Peaceful Divorce Option
Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. The legal, financial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.
OUR PROFESSIONALS CAN HELP WITH THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS IN ARIZONA!
The collaborative divorce process is designed to help people who are willing to work together to make an agreement that benefits the family. Resources that help parents communicate effectively during this process can help them model appropriate behavior for their kids. With love and support, children can more effectively deal with their parents’ divorce. Contact a professional at Best Legal Choices if you’re ready to take the first step toward starting your new life.