How to reduce the cost of divorce

Divorce can be extremely expensive. The average cost of a divorce in America is $15 000 per person. This cost includes attorneys, paperwork, court fees, real estate appraisal and a child custody evaluator. If you have decided to go through with a divorce, then you need to think about ways in which you can reduce the cost of your divorce, so that you won’t break the bank. If you are looking for a way to reduce the cost of your divorce, then read this article for tips on how to save money during a divorce.

  1. If you can, try and have an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse can work together to have an amicable divorce, you will be able to save a lot of money. If you research the laws of your state and make yourself familiar with these laws and procedures, you can save time and money when you are with your attorney, as most attorneys charge per hour.
  2. Use an online divorce company. What could be easier? You can file for a divorce from the comfort of your own home. Using an online divorce company is cheaper as well as convenient. An online divorce could cost you between $100 and $500. You can find more information here. Most attorneys will charge you between $5000 and $10 000. This is a massive difference in price in comparison to the $15 000 on average that you could spend whilst going the traditional route with an attorney. An online divorce company will handle all the paperwork for you. They will also be able to give you legal advice if need be with an attorney. This might push up the cost a bit, but it won’t be anything near $15 000. Once again though, it’s much easier using an online divorce company for an uncontested divorce.
  3. Do not litigate! Going to court is incredibly expensive. Not only is going to court stressful but it is really emotionally taxing. If you can do not litigate! Rather try and use a mediator, this will save you costs. Going to court should only be a last resort. A mediator will help you and your soon to be ex-spouse come to an agreement. Interestingly, a mediator can be up to 40% cheaper than going to court. If you have tried everything and you still can’t come to an agreement, and litigation is the only way, then sadly you will have to do so.
  4. Be prepared and make a list of everything you and your spouse agree on. If you are prepared and you know exactly what questions you want to ask your attorney, you will be able to save time. Most attorneys charge per hour, therefore if you are prepared, you will be able to ask all your questions at once; by saving time, you will save money. By being prepared, you can also perhaps use an attorney only to help you with areas in which you and your spouse disagree.
  5. It is also important that if you do use an attorney, make sure of their fee structure. Make sure to read through the entire fee structure. You would be surprised at how many people skip this part. Does your attorney charge per hour? Do they charge travel fees? Do they charge you for emails that they send? If you are unsure, ask your attorney to explain their fee structure to you. By doing this you will be able to compare attorneys fees and also know exactly where your money is going. If you know what the rate is, you will be able to budget and reduce the cost of your divorce. It will also be better if your attorney could give you a set fee. If he has a blank cheque policy, do not do this. The costs could become sky high and leave you in a lot of debt. This is something which you really do not want. Don’t sign any blank cheques!
  6. Another way to reduce the cost of divorce is to do all your own paperwork. There are many online companies that offer all the paperwork needed to get a divorce. Fill out all your own paperwork and file it yourself if possible. You can also get all your own supporting documents such as financial statements, tax returns, and credit card statements. You can also fill in your own financial disclosure. Don’t let your lawyer do this as this could cost you a lot in the long run. Another good idea would be to file all your paperwork in chronological or alphabetical order. This will help you find which documents you need when you are consulting with your lawyer and the faster you are with your lawyer the less time you will have to spend with them, and this will save you money.
  7. Try really hard to not spend unnecessary money. Sometimes when you are going through a divorce, you might binge spend to help you with the hard emotions you are feeling. It’s not uncommon for people going through a divorce to buy things that they don’t really need. If you are battling emotionally, it would be a good idea to see a counselor or a psychologist. They can help you with resentment, depression and help you to handle your emotions in a healthy way. It would also be a good idea to not use your lawyer as a psychologist. Remember, they are there to help you with legal advice. If you get caught up in telling your attorney about your issues, they will charge you for the time you spend with them. Many lawyers charge between $200 and $450 an hour.
  8. Don’t choose the most expensive attorney. You might think that they would be the best because they are the most expensive, but this isn’t always the case. Find an attorney that is good but also affordable.
  9. Close all your joint credit card accounts. If there is still money in your cards, transfer that money to a new account. Some spouses out of rage and retaliation could max out your credit card, leaving you in terrible debt. Paying off debt after a divorce is the last thing you need.
  10. Don’t lie about your income and assets. If a judge finds out that you were hiding information, you could be fined and this will also greatly increase the cost of your divorce. Make sure to be honest in all things. Also, you want your divorce to be finalized as soon as possible. By lying, you will just make the whole process longer.

These are just a few tips to help you reduce the cost of your divorce. Even though a divorce can be heart-wrenching, it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use an online company to have a cheaper divorce and if you do decide to use an attorney, make sure to really research all they have to offer, especially their fee structures.

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