It seems as if getting a divorce is a double whammy – one hit to your emotions and another hit to your bank account. However, there are some ways that those who are undergoing a divorce can save money. Here are some tips for easing the financial pain of a divorce:
Try to work out agreements in advance. If you and your soon-to-be-ex can have reasonable discussions about property division, alimony, child custody and child support, this can save you some serious money. The more you are able to agree upon prior to meeting with your attorneys, the better it will be on your bank account. Many couples use their attorneys – most of who bill by the hour – to hammer out agreements that could be reached between them. If you are able to hand over an agreed upon list of assets, liabilities and their division as well as a plan for dealing with spousal and child support, you will save your attorney time and yourself money.
Use a financial planner. Hiring a financial planner to help you figure out how much you will need to live your separate lives is an investment that will usually yield much better returns for you both in the long run. You can use a financial planner to help you value assets and what is fair when it comes to dividing up investment and retirement accounts, etc.
Use your divorce lawyer for the legal stuff. Many people fall into a familiar trap of using their divorce attorney as the touchstone for everything to do with their divorce, when you really should be using a lawyer solely for legal issues. If you need help in dealing with the emotional aspects of your split, consider talking to a trained therapist who has experience with those facing divorce and can help you navigate the emotional mine fields as well as get emotionally ready for your new life.
Help yourself. There are some things you can do for yourself that will help you save money. If you think your ex may be hiding assets, do some of your own investigative work by checking bank statements, tax returns, and all your joint financial records to discover any irregularities. Make your own copies of all your paperwork instead of relying on your attorney’s office to make the necessary copies. Talk to your attorney’s assistant if you are just checking on routine matters, like a question on an invoice or following up on a filing.
Consider mediation. Mediation is generally much less expensive than going to trial, and you can still enjoy the counsel of your divorce attorney throughout the process.
When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter. Contact us today for your free consultation.