Divorce can be expensive. If you aren't prepared, the financial challenges of divorce can really take you by surprise and make a difficult situation even harder to handle. However, a little bit of preparation and some smart planning can actually lower the costs. Here are some tips you can use.
1. Consider divorce mediation instead of litigation
Divorce mediation is becoming increasingly common, in large part because it can be a lot less expensive than litigation. The other big advantage of mediation is that you and your spouse remain in control of your situation -- instead of placing your future in the hands of a judge that doesn't even know you.
Mediation is best for couples who are still willing to work together for a positive outcome, even if there are some major sticking points on issues like child custody and support. It's only a money-waster if one spouse is unwilling to negotiate and determined to make life miserable for everyone.
2. Don't make it harder to get financial documents
Don't make your spouse go through hoops to get the information that he or she needs during the divorce. That will drive up your legal fees as well because your attorney will have to handle every request or motion that the other side makes.
Everything has to be disclosed in the end whether you do it willingly or not, so total transparency is the way to go from the start if you want to save money.
3. Remain flexible about your options
You can save yourself a lot of cash in the long run if you don't go into divorce with a predetermined set of expectations. Define your broad goals and stay reasonable. For example, go into the process wanting a custody arrangement that works for everyone and a fair split of the debts and assets. Then, stay opened-minded about what exactly that means.
You may need a financial advisor to consult on particularly complicated cases because there are often options with retirement accounts and property that you don't realize are there. Hidden tax consequences to certain actions can also really hurt if you don't get good advice from the start.
4. Pick your attorney carefully
Picking an attorney that will save you money during your divorce involves more than picking someone with the lowest fee. While the attorney's fee may be a concern, don't base your decision on that alone. Look for a divorce attorney who has a reputation for solving problems and resolving cases without winding up in court. Gauge the attorneys you interview for their ability to handle everyday issues with a phone call to your spouse's attorney instead of a court hearing, and your wallet will thank you later!
Contact a law office like Moore Robert G Attorney at Law for more information and assistance.