When you decide you want to end your marriage, a divorce can be a difficult time. But as you look forward to your new life, the last thing you want is to be financially hurt by your decision. Although divorces can be expensive, there are steps you can take to help reduce both the financial burden and the time it takes to complete a divorce.
Negotiate With Your Spouse Early
One of the most important ways you can reduce the cost of your divorce is by being open to negotiation with your spouse. If you can have a conversation together about the goals of your divorce and come to agreement on the important issues now, the less legal fees you’ll incur later. You may consider issues such as the following to help speed things along:
- How to divide your assets (including marital debts)
- Who will maintain custody of the children, and a custody schedule
- Who will pay child support
You don’t have to come to a firm agreement right away, and you shouldn’t agree to something that you’re not comfortable with, especially without consulting with your attorney first. But at least having the conversation can make things move along more smoothly, which can save you both time and money.
Consider Hiring a Professional Mediator
If you need a little help with negotiations, you may want to consider the services of a professional divorce mediator if things get tough, or if you’re unsure how to handle the discussion. A mediator can help you and your spouse hammer out the specific details of your divorce and come to an agreement that works for both of you. Mediation does cost money, but in the long run, it can be a big savings over battling things out in court.
Avoid Divorce Litigation
Coming to an agreement with your spouse outside the courtroom is going to be one of your biggest money-savers. Sometimes court is unavoidable, and you should never shy away from protecting your own legal rights. But even if mediation fails, arbitration may still be an option. Arbitration will still likely cost less than a court trial and is often much faster. Arbitration also doesn’t require a lawyer, although your divorce lawyer should be happy to help you through the process to make sure that your legal rights are fully protected.
Choose Your Attorney Carefully
When you make a decision to hire a divorce lawyer, you have every right to be picky and choose the attorney who best fits your needs, lifestyle, and financial means. When you really feel that your attorney is on your side and truly understands your needs, it can make the process much easier on you both financially and emotionally.
Choosing an attorney who has a reputation for being aggressive in court may not always be the best move, especially if money is a real concern. An experienced lawyer with good problem-solving skills will often be able to work with you, your spouse, and his divorce lawyer to keep things out of court. Your lawyer should take your financial situation into consideration and be able to provide you with any alternative options that may exist. At the same time, your attorney should also not be afraid to stand up for your needs and take your divorce to court when your rights are at risk. We've written a book to help you hire the right attorney for your situation which is available to download for free.
Get Help With Your Divorce
When you’re ready to reach out to a divorce attorney that meets your specific needs, the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny is here to help you. We’ll bring our decades of experience handling divorces of all kinds to your table, so that you can begin your new life with a fresh start. To arrange a private consultation in our Bellevue law office, call us by phone, or use the contact link on this page to reach out to us today.