There is no doubt that divorce can be expensive. But that does not mean that the expense is uncontrollable. With a determined effort to be organized, proactive, and levelheaded, it is possible to keep the costs associated with divorce from spiraling out of control
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 spouse’s attorney encourage conflict. Try to think rationally, keep the lines of communication open, and be open to compromise; it will potentially save you thousands of dollars. There is no benefit in trying to exact vengance on your spouse. The division of marital property typically culminates in a fashion that is fair to both parties.
Don’t use your attorney as your therapist.
Your attorney is your legal representative, not your psycologist. At $200 to $400 per hour, it is very expensive to use your attorney for this purpose. If you need support, you should go see a trained mental health professional. This is one of the reasons a trained mental health facilitor is used in the collaborative divorce process. Their hourly rate will be significantly less and they are equipped to deal with the emotional side of the divorce.
Get help to understand your financial situation.
Only about 25 percent of the issues that arise during divorce involve legal concerns. Financial issues and property division can be the most complicated. You retain an attorney because of their expertise on legal issues. Many attorneys do not possess specialized knowledge of 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 you will be facing. Get professional assistance so that you do not make irreversalble mistakes.
Stay out of court
The cost of a litigated divorce can often “wipe out” or seriously deplete a couple’s marital assets. Investigate collaborative divorce and mediation as a way to save time, money and avoid an adversarial atmosphere. These methods help a couple to find common ground, settle on an agreement that is mutually satisfactory, and stay out of court.
Relying on your attorney to manage every aspect of the divorce can be expensive. There are many excellent books, internet sites, local workshops, and support groups available. Take the time to research the aspects that relate to your situation, so that you can become knowledgeable, informed, and make good decisions.