5 Ways to Keep Divorce Costs Down
October 5th, 2017 by Marta J. Papa
There’s no question, divorce is expensive. Splitting your assets and paying attorneys fees can make you feel weak in the knees. The following list offers options to help curb some of those painful divorce expenditures and make you feel more in control.
- Pay attention to your spending. Keep a detailed log tracking how money is being spent each month. “It may be necessary to eliminate any unnecessary spending until you have a clear understanding just how much money is needed and the various sources of income available.“
- Do your own discovery.The more accurate and detailed information you provide, the more smoothly this aspect of the divorce will go. Providing your own documents will save significant time and money. The court will require “detailed information regarding all assets, debts, sources of income, expenses, tax information, real estate holdings, and employee benefits.” Be sure to keep everything well organized and make copies!
- Favor communication over conflict.“You must recognize that the more you “fight” the longer and more drawn out your divorce will be, and the more it will cost. Don’t let your attorney or your spouse’s attorney encourage conflict. Try to think rationally and keep the lines of communication open with your spouse.” Consider mediation. You don’t have to be in agreement to be able to sit at a table with your spouse and a mediator and work out conflict through communication. There may be some things you and your spouse will be willing to compromise on. Remember that whether or not you litigate, assets will be divided in a relatively fair and equitable manner, so why not make those decisions with your spouse in mediation rather than let a judge decide who gets what?
- Consult a financial professional.“Financial issues and property divisioncan be one of the most complicated and time consuming aspects. Costs can quickly escalate the more drawn out a settlement becomes. You retain an attorney because of their expertise on legal issues, however many attorneys do not possess specialized knowledge dealing with complex financial issues. Seek the services of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) to get the necessary help organizing information and understanding the various property and tax issues, and other decisions you will be facing before you consent to a settlement.” If you choose to mediate, your mediator will have a list of CDFAs to refer you to.
- If at all possible, stay out of court. Mediation is a mutually beneficial approach that can save time, money, and keep you on good terms with your spouse for the sake of your children.