If you and your ex-spouse are heading towards divorce, this can be an emotionally stressful time, but you should keep costs in mind as well. Divorce attorneys and time in court can be expensive, but there are ways to make sure you don't spend too much on your divorce. Here are four ways you can hopefully get through your divorce without breaking the bank.
1. Get Organized
Before you meet with your attorney, make sure that you have your ducks in a row and have discussion points ready. It is important that you have a clear understanding of your attorney's billing process so that you can use this to your advantage. If your lawyer bills by the hour, it is a good idea to save up all of your questions and set up a meeting rather than calling whenever something pops in your head.
2. Don't Waste Time Fighting Over Personal Items
It can be wrenching to go through shared personal items such as furnishings, sporting equipment, and even dvd collections. It is best if you and your ex-spouse can do this together. Don't let your divorce get to the point where you can't even divide up housewares without lawyers and racking up more fees. You might be angry, but try your best to keep calm and work through simpler decisions on your own as a couple.
3. Try to Settle in Mediation
If there is any way that you can keep your divorce out of court and handled with mediation and settlements, this will save you money. If your divorce is amicable, this can be easy, but if your divorce might be more contentious it can be harder to come to agreements. This doesn't mean you should throw the towel in with mediation before you even give it a chance. Mediators and divorce attorneys are trained to help spouses with disagreements come to a resolution and can help keep you out of court.
4. Don't Draw out Your Divorce
Sometimes having a drawn out divorce that heads to court is unavoidable, especially if custody issues or alimony agreements cannot be met. What you shouldn't do is be stubborn and not agree to offers or to meet your ex halfway. This will just waste time and bump up attorney fees. If you are angry at your spouse, forcing your case to go to court will only ending up costing you both more money.
Going through a divorce can be a whirlwind, but if you can keep a clear head and try your best to be organized, you can bring down costs associated with your divorce. Make sure you have clear expectations with your attorney (like those at Kalamarides & Lambert), work to swiftly wrap up your divorce, and get on with your life.