You are about to enter into uncharted territory. You will soon be going through the divorce process and are unaware of not only the enormous economic strain that a divorce can have on you, but you are also unfamiliar with the large amount of time that the process can consume. This is a very serious matter and if you do not take the proper precautions, you could be swept into in a lengthy court battle that could end up costing you a lot more than you were prepared to spend.
In an effort to protect you from a potential financial and time consuming disaster, please use this section of our divorce guide as divorce guide has a very informative section titled “Ten Money Saving Tactics during Divorce.”
Ten Ways you can Save Time and Money during the Divorce Process
1. Learn The Divorce Process:
After you and your spouse have decided divorce is the best option, you’ll want to educate yourself on the divorce process. Read about the different statutes and laws of the state that you are filing for a divorce in. Maybe seek out friends or acquaintances that have gone through a similar situation and ask for advice or any information that they think will be helpful to you. You’ll want to be as prepared as possible to save time by having some of the basic questions answered. You’ll also reap the reward of knowing which pressing and important questions you’ll need to ask your attorney.
Divorce can get expensive very fast, especially when spouses are unable to agree on the terms.
2. Know Your Options:
You should know that divorces can get expensive very fast, especially when spouses are unable to agree on the terms. When you have reached your decision to divorce and have chosen your divorce attorney, make sure to ask about possible ways that could save you time and money. Ask about possible alternatives, such as mediation or collaborative divorce. And if litigation is your only option, be sure to ask your attorney for an estimate on the time and cost of the trial.
3. Choose Your Counsel Wisely:
There are multiple approaches and a diverse amount of inexpensive tactics that couples may use to handle their divorce. But be fair warned, cheap legal services will often yield cheap results and may end up costing you more money in the long run. For instance, if you put your faith and trust into an unsupervised paralegal in an attempt to save money, know that you may need to spend more money later on more experienced counsel to fix any mistakes made by the paralegal. They are often not equipped with enough education and experience of the intricacies of family law to work on complex divorce cases.
4. Write or Email Your Attorney:
Most divorce attorneys will charge by the hour. If yours does, you can save money by contacting him or her via letter or email. Chances are your attorney will not be immediately available and will have to schedule a phone meeting that could end up taking longer than expected. Consider writing, as it will take far less time for your attorney to review a letter than to set up and hold a phone conversation. If you feel uncomfortable writing or don’t like to, ask a friend or family member to lend you a hand.
5. Choose A Support Person To Attend Attorney Meetings:
To put your mind at ease and to offer you comfort during meetings with your divorce attorney, ask a good friend or family member to attend your meetings with you. Having a loved one with you can be very beneficial if, for instance, you happen to forget to ask an important question or forget some important information that was discussed during your meeting. Let your support system be there for you by helping you remember those questions or that important information. You will be able to save money by not having to schedule a meeting to have information retold and you will also save yourself a great amount of worry by getting answers to your questions right away.
Any experienced attorney, after gathering this key information, should be able to make an estimate on how they feel a judge will decide.
6. Ask Your Attorney To Estimate The Judge’s Decision:
You can get an early assessment on your divorce by meeting with an experienced attorney for a couple of hours to discuss your assets, debts, and your preferences on the settlement. Any experienced attorney, after gathering this key information, should be able to make an estimate on how they feel a judge will decide. If a lengthy and high cost trial is not what you want, this insight will let you know if that is your only option or if a more cost effective method, like mediation, is possible.
7. Have A Professionals Appraise Your Assets:
Another way to be prepared for your attorney is to have a professional appraise all of your property. This includes your real estate, your business accounts, and any personal items you feel need to have their value assessed. Your attorney will most likely ask you to obtain accurate appraisals from a professional, so having this done beforehand will give you a good head start. Always keep in mind that being prepared will not only save you time and money, staying on track and sometimes ahead of the game will be a good way to keep calm and ease your mind.
8. Get Ahead and Value Household Items Fairly:
While you are probably aware that household items lose value over time, keep this in mind when assessing their worth when preparing to divide them before your divorce. To be as fair as possible, discern fair market value on these items by searching on websites like Craigslist,org. However, if you have multiple items you believe are worth over $3,000, it’s best to bring in a professional to look at them.
9. Get A Second Opinion:
It is always a good idea to get more than one opinion, especially when you’re dealing with such important matters. Talk to a second family law specialist and go over the same specifics of your case that you did with the first attorney. Then explain how the first attorney expected to handle the case and how they felt the judge would decide. After the second attorney relays their opinion and tells you what they would do differently, you may find their angle suits your case better. Or, you may still feel comfortable with your first choice. While you will still have to pay for the unpicked attorney’s time, you should feel good knowing that you chose the right one for you. By selecting the first attorney you speak with, you’ll never know if there was a better option or another angle that could’ve saved you time and money.
10. Unless It’s Unavoidable, Do Not Change Lawyers:
While it may be necessary to change your attorney after your divorce has begun, consider the fact that starting the informative process over with a new attorney will end up costing you a considerable amount of money and will add up to a large amount of lost time. Also, while a judge may not hold changing attorneys against you, after you have dismissed one or two, it may be hard to find a reputable replacement that is willing to take your case.