Divorce in the United States is an incredibly expensive process! There is a one hundred percent chance that you have heard this statement. It’s common knowledge that marriage dissolution is associated with significant costs that the parties must pay for the assistance of attorneys, state fees, and other outlays which are unavoidable when preparing the divorce documents.
Fear of losing a great amount of money can become a restraining factor even for those who have a strong willingness to end their marriage. Of course, this apprehension can be explained by the fear of the unknown and a lack of understanding of what awaits in the near future. It can be difficult for people to suddenly abandon their usual foundations and change their lifestyle in a moment.
In the hope of protecting their financial stability and maintaining the health of the family budget, one may feel forced to continue to endure and survive in a relationship that has long since reached an impasse and has no hope of being saved. But you must think about whether your happiness, independence, and psychological comfort are worth being the victims of such a situation!
Moreover, nowadays there are many options to minimize the expenses associated with a divorce, and a lot of tools and services that allow you to perform all the necessary procedures quickly, efficiently, painlessly, and relatively inexpensively.
This article discusses four basic working principles on how to minimize the costs of the divorce process and save up to several thousands of dollars. Though every legal case is individual and depends on the particular situation of the spouses, the following recommendations can still be taken into consideration.
1. Try to reach a mutual agreement and find a compromise!
It is worth remembering that both parties of the marriage dissolution proceedings lose something material in the end. And each decision in the negotiation process must be balanced and calculated. Keep in mind, that costs for an uncontested, mediated, or collaborative type of divorce are significantly less than the potential expenses associated with flaming emotional fights between ex-spouses in the walls of the court!
Nowadays, uncontested forms of divorce are affordable all over the United States. These are cases in which both parties are able to reach an agreement on all decisions about alimony, child custody and support, and the division of the couple’s property, assets, and debts.
A collaborative divorce process offers the participants the opportunity to negotiate with the help of a professional lawyer, who can assist both parties in reaching a settlement agreement. The spouses have regular separate meetings with their attorneys to find an optimal compromise for all disputed issues so that the case can be settled without the need of going in front of a judge.
If you decide to initiate mediation, this means that you are inviting an impartial person as the third party to the divorce process. The mediator assists at all stages of the process from the preparation of the divorce papers to the final act of the marriage cancellation in order to help the spouses reach an agreement they can both accept.
As you can see, any of the formats mentioned above can be a healthy and effective alternative to traditional marriage dissolution. The advantages of an uncontested or collaborative divorce, as well as mediation, are obvious, and you should be interested in doing your best to convince your spouse, who acts as a respondent in your case, to agree in seeking one of these alternatives.
2. Use online divorce services to run the process remotely!
The modern digital era offers a lot of undeniable advantages and features. One of them is the possibility of performing routine actions remotely and online. And various legal procedures are no exception. If you feel confident in your willingness to initiate the divorce process and are ready to act as a plaintiff or a petitioner in your case, you may have an opportunity to file the divorce over the internet.
Moreover, in many cases, the choice of an online divorce format gives the spouses an opportunity to perform all the required procedures without an attorney. As a consequence, using online divorce for marriage dissolution can significantly reduce costs and time for both spouses.
3. Don’t rely on the lawyer’s assistance for everything!
It is no secret that most attorneys charge by the hour for their services. As the previous paragraph has shown, it is actually not a difficult task to complete all the required divorce papers if you do your divorce over the internet. However, with some more complex cases, it can be a good idea to seek the assistance of an attorney.
This is where cold calculation and common sense can save you money in your divorce process. Before you seek the advice of a lawyer, think about what issues need to be resolved. Don’t hire the first attorney you find. Shop around and compare prices. Try to limit your time spent with the attorney by taking notes and preparing questions and documentation in advance. Only use the attorney for tasks that require the expertise of an attorney. Save small talk and discussions about your personal issues and emotions for your friends, parents, or therapist.
4. Turn off your emotions and turn on your calculator!
This recommendation summarizes all the above and is more psychological than legal. Do not belittle the importance of your emotional state at the moment when you make a very important life decision! Divorce is an extremely stressful situation for all participants in the process. It is very important not to let your emotions lead you to make hasty decisions.
If you have already crossed the line and made the decision to proceed with a divorce, it’s time to turn off your emotions and turn on the calculator. Remember that each decision has its consequences! Evaluate every step and be confident in your actions. Do not hesitate to seek help from professionals in various fields. Share your doubts and worries with the people who support you! By doing all these things, it will be easier for you to independently map your actions and calculate the route from point A to point B.