The divorce process is not only an emotionally draining affair, but it also involves significant costs as you go through the trial process and settlement of disputes. The thought of having two separate houses, moving out from a place you used to call home and seeking children custody involve significant costs.
With this in mind, it is essential to consider ways in which one can save money during the process. This will give a stepping stone in the next life where you will no longer live as a family but an individual with self-responsibilities.
At times it calls for seeking new employment in a different city, and the cost of moving with the household gods can drastically affect income. As such, it is always important to look for ways that will help in saving money even as you go through the entire process.
Below are 17 ways in which one can save;
- Make sure you understand how the countries’ legal systems work concerning divorce.
Educate yourself as much as possible to understand the divorce court implications in your country to avoid being taken advantage of while the process is ongoing. Research from various sources like online articles, information form counselors and lawyers and get to know other people’s experiences, especially those who have gone through the divorce process. By doing this, you will know what costs to avoid and the way to avoid them as you embark on the entire process.
- Manage the lawyer’s Expenses.
This is one of the costs that can drastically affect your savings. Paying for a lawyer in every move that you make is an expensive option. Consider seeking guidance from a counselor who could be a friend, and in this case, he will not be interested in charging. A lawyer should come in when doing paperwork and following up compulsory court proceedings.
However, if your divorce is going to be uncontested, you can do it without a lawyer and related expenses at all. An online divorce is an option which can be a great bargain for those couples who are ready to negotiate and make decisions out of court. The point is that when you have settled all the disputed issues like child custody or property division and reached an agreement, the main remaining challenge is to complete the divorce paperwork properly. Numerous online divorce companies offer the service of quick and affordable preparation of divorce forms. They take into account all the peculiarities of a certain divorce case, family laws of a particular state, and other circumstances the customer outlines with a brief online questionnaire. So, nowadays, there is no need to spend money on an attorney if your purpose is just to sort out the papers and fill out the forms correctly.
- Cancel your joint Credit Cards.
As you start the process, cancel any joint credit cards that you may possess. This will reduce conflicting issues during the divorce process. Take an instance whereby one party fuels at a fuel station and drives away for miles and within a week, the costs will have accumulated without the other party’s knowledge. This can end up bringing more conflicts since the card will deduct from the account, and will not understand whose fault it is. As you cancel the cards, let your partner know that you are no longer in partnership.
- Open Personal Bank Accounts.
Since you are looking forward to starting a life of your own, it is advisable to start your bank account and manage your finances. Save as much as you can to have a stepping stone once you start living alone. Another advantage is that you will start building your credit rating and in case of investing my loan advances, chances are that you will qualify for the loans without much of a challenge and within a short time.
- Evaluate the value of your assets appropriately.
The best way to work out your assets is through hiring a professional who will value your assets and liabilities such that you will only forward the final documents to the lawyer for signing. By doing this, the valuer may not be as expensive in relation to when the same goes through valuation by the appointed agents from the divorce court.
- Agree to cooperate with your spouse and compromise on some decisions.
It is often tough for a couple who is in agreement to come together and mediate on divorce settlement agreements. You can involve a close friend to help negotiate on issues that could be settled out of court. For instance, deciding who will be the child custody, how to divide the assets amongst yourselves and the support you will be receiving from your spouse once you part ways.
This may seem rather impractical, but if it’s put in place and work, then the couple may not need to hire a lawyer, and you will have saved a great deal.
- Actualize your fees agreement.
To know how much you will spend on the entire divorce process, it’s essential to understand the total costs of the lawyer. Get to know whether the cost includes travel costs, photocopying, sitting allowances. Research on the other lawyers or attorneys around and seek to understand their costs too to make a final decision. A qualified attorney does not necessarily mean that it’s an expensive one and as such it’s important to ensure you get a qualified lawyer who will not drain your finances.
- Remain Focussed and organized.
When going through a divorce process, the sense of confusion may arise, but you need to remain focussed to the last minute. Organize yourself before a meeting, making a call or even sending that critical email that would otherwise compromise the court’s decision is very important.
Also, ensure that all the documentation is in a safe place that you can produce without strain when they are required.
- Hire qualified professionals.
You will at one time or another require a professional who will support you in calculating the value of your assets and liabilities such as the financial accountant, and appraisers. They will help you to know the implications of dividing assets, the effect on tax payments and how it will affect the new arrangement once the divorce process is complete. Hiring a professional from the word go will reduce the costs because you will not keep changing them for lack of contentment in the way they work.
- Ensure that the Financial Disclosure Statement is in place.
Having a disclosure statement with you is vital. This is because you are best suited to know what belongs to you and the agreement that existed between you and your spouse. This will facilitate quick decision making, and the court proceedings may not last long since both of you understand your finances in a better way.
- Do not Act with Emotions.
A divorce process is a painful process in the entirety, and it attracts negative emotions that could otherwise extend the period under which the divorce process could take. Learn to control your emotions, and that is the main reason as to why you should hire a lawyer to speak on your behalf as an independent party with no emotions towards the case.
Consider talking to a counselor who will assist in managing your emotions.
- Consider hiring Paralegal Assistants.
Paralegals are those people who provide legal services, but their charges are less than those of a lawyer. A paralegal will perform administrative tasks, keep you updated on the next court date. Rather than using a lawyer for such simple tasks, only engage the lawyer when legal advice is concerned, and this will lower the costs.
- Agree on how to divide your Items.
Think of household furniture and other accessories that are personal. Rather than going ahead to hire a lawyer, it is better to come into an agreement over who to secure what furniture, who to take up the family car. All these would be an added cost once a lawyer is involved which would only call for a forced agreement between the couple.
- Avoid Changing Lawyers.
Imagine the initial costs of opening a file with your first lawyer, say cost $500 plus other fees that are charged when the case is in process. If you happen to switch to a new lawyer, he will still ask for the file opening charges in addition to the services offered. This would be a costly process but the minute you stick to one lawyer to the very end, then the issue of initial costs will not be a challenge.
- Do not conceal any information to the lawyer in relation to the divorce matter.
Concealing information to the lawyer can be expensive in the long run. This is because if you happen to hide any information, your spouse who is now the complainant could use the concealed information as a weak point. This would render the court to make a favorable ruling to one party which if all the information were well known to the lawyer, then chances of having a level ground in the court ruling would be higher.
- Look for ways and settle the dispute out of court.
Some mediators could support the whole process with little or no cost involved. Attending conferences is also a great way of getting information and coming together to decide on the way forward if divorce must take place. In the event a mediator comes in, both parties should be positive, disclose all the information to the mediator and create space to be advised on the best way possible to embrace the process.
Possibly, you haven’t invested in budgeting in the past. While in the divorce process, budgeting is inevitable. You need to understand what comes in and what is paid out. It will help you to manage your finances especially, and as you step out to living by yourself, it will not be a challenge to manage the daily expenses which were not a norm in the previous life.
There is always a phase in life and if divorce comes knocking in, still be prepared mentally and open up for the next experience which includes cost, responsibilities of the children and how to handle the emotional affection that existed between you and your spouse.