When divorce proceedings start, most people think about the emotional impact on their children and themselves. But what few people know is that divorce can also be very expensive. From lawyer fees to court costs, divorce can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses alone. So what are some ways to keep divorce costs down?
It pays to educate yourself. With more knowledge about divorce and the proceedings, the less money you’ll likely spend overall. You’ll be more confident and efficient in interacting not only with your lawyer but also with your spouse.
Ask your lawyer for a written estimate of their fees. This is usually given at an hourly rate, but some lawyers charge by the project or flat fee. Get this information into writing to avoid misunderstandings later on. Note that there are reputable divorce lawyers in Sydney who will help ensure you don’t go over your budget.
Don’t delay when it comes to working out issues with your spouse. Examples are cases like custody arrangements and visitation schedules. The more you drag things out, the longer you end up paying legal bills because your case will be open longer with multiple filings and motions filed before the judge.
If possible, try mediation instead of court proceedings so that all parties can come together in mutually agreeable terms. This way, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars filing paperwork against one another in courtrooms where everything may cost money.
Split up household items on your own. Divorce lawyers can certainly help you on this, but you can also opt not to pay for another person for things you and your spouse can do on your own. That includes dividing household items. It will save you a lot on attorney fees if you decide between yourselves who gets what.
Think about it: If you’re fighting about ownership of a piece of furniture, there’s a chance you’re not really fighting over that unit but something deeper. It would be best to sort that out first before you seek out a divorce lawyer.
Depending on your budget, you may want to spend a little more for the right lawyer. You don’t want to go with someone who charges less but may not offer as good advice or representation in court—especially if things end up going south quickly during negotiations over custody arrangements for example (where most divorces get ugly fast).
Don’t forget to keep track of your finances. Being able to estimate the cost of your divorce is key for getting started. You’ll also realise the difference good divorce lawyers make when it comes down to talking finances.
Ultimately, you want to be proactive about your own finances and not rely on your spouse. This should help reduce conflicts of interest when it comes time to divide assets after a split. As such, it’s an important step in reducing the overall cost of divorce.
If you’re considering filing for divorce, we hope these tips will come in handy as you navigate your options and choose what’s best for you.