How To Pay Less for Your Divorce

The age-old question for many going through divorce is “how much will it cost?”  While it’s difficult to predict the actual costs with any degree of certainty, below are 3 things you can do to keep the costs from spiraling out of control:

1.  Hire a lawyer who is settlement oriented and practices exclusively in divorce and family matters.  The tone of your divorce – and the amount of fees – is determined by your choice of lawyer to represent you.   You should strive to choose a lawyer who approaches divorce and family matters by trying to achieve settlement throughout the process.  By the same token, a lawyer who concentrates exclusively in divorce and family matters is far more likely to be able to navigate the family court system more efficiently, thereby saving you money.

2.  Become familiar with the marital assets, debt, net cash flow, and monthly expenses.  Gather all of the documentation for your assets and debts and assess their values and balances.  Then, plan out your monthly needs and expenses on a spreadsheet.  Consult with a good certified financial planner and/or accountant to learn how you can best meet your long term and short term financial goals.  This will save time for your lawyer, and money for you, if you are able to help your lawyer assess your financial needs after the divorce.

3.  Talk to your spouse directly.  The more issues that you and your spouse can resolve together, the less you will spend on attorneys.  Try to decide as many issues as possible, such as where your children will live, when each of you will spend time with them, and how you will divide the home, retirement accounts, and debts.  If you are having difficulty, you might enlist the services of a good trained mediator.   If you can resolve these types of issues on your own amicably, you will very likely reduce your overall attorney fees significantly.

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