Ending a marriage has always been an expensive affair. It ends up draining the affected partners emotionally, financially and physically. With all the stress that one goes through, there are ways to relieve oneself and avoid high costs that could be incurred during the breakup process.
Below are some ways to help you walk out of marriage with some money to jump-start the new life as you settle down.
A mediator comes in not to make decisions for you but to help you decide on the best way to handle the issues that are conflicting in marriage. At times, disputes are resolved during the mediation process such that couples do not have to hire an attorney during the marriage annulment process, which is costly and will help save some money.
- Consider an online divorce.
Bringing a marriage to an end using the physical court proceedings process was time-consuming and expensive. Online divorce was established as a way to minimize the costs incurred, and besides, one can complete the entire process while sitting in the comfort of your home.
In case the couples have an uncontested divorce and issues relating to child custody, division of assets are agreed upon, then it is better to register with a reputable online divorce site.
It will be far much cheaper and comfortable to end up the marriage this way, instead of having to hire a divorce lawyer to negotiate the case on your behalf.
Online divorce is an affordable way of ending a marriage. One is required to pay the application fees to be able to access the divorce papers for filing for divorce.
After that, you will only be required to submit the filled divorce forms to the court pending the decree without having to attend to the court proceedings often.
- Settle for an attorney who offers free consultations.
The legal expenses can drain one's pockets, and as such, it's imperative to research for attorneys who offer free consultations to help reduce the overall costs. The address directory or research from friends can be a good source of getting the right Attorney.
- Set achievable goals on the onset of the process.
As soon as you decide that the marriage separation process must take place, list the number of things you wish to achieve and share them out with your lawyer.
He will be able to advise on the realistic, achievable goals so that you can budget on the costs you will incur in anticipation to what you expect upon settlement.
It's essential to watch out to depend on a lawyer who will overpromise, and you end up getting disappointed. A professional lawyer will be able to advise realistically.
- Get clarification of the Attorney's Charges during the entire process.
In many cases, couples end up getting disappointed because of additional costs that may be billed in between the process.
Before starting, ensure that there is an agreement on how the entire process will cost and the distribution thereof. This includes the lawyer's costs, legal assistant costs, printing and photocopying. This will set a clear cut way on how to account for the Attorney's fees.
- Be organized during the Attorneys meetings.
Rather than spending a lot of time with an attorney, ensure you organize your papers and questions you intend to raise during the meeting. The more time spent with an attorney, the more the costs, but once all issues are organized, the costs will be less and the time spent will not be much.
- Hire a lawyer with excellent communication skills.
If you start the process with a lawyer who is intimidating in a way, then you may not achieve your goals, yet the fees payable is already credited to the Attorney's account. It's therefore essential to deal with a credible lawyer whom you are free to engage with from the start to avoid costs of hiring again when disappointed.
- Agree on a way of solving problems together.
Any form of separation, whether friendly or cruel ends up becoming an expensive venture. Rather than that, couples can agree to join hands and agree to settle their disputes and possibly salvage their marriage.
If issues are resolved and the union continues, then it is for the good of the family and costs that would have otherwise been incurred can be used for developing the family needs.
- Avoid involving the Attorney in the emotional issues.
Extending emotional talks to your Attorney will only add up your bill, in as much as the Attorney may seem friendly. Avoid discussing the issues with them, but consider sharing out painful issues with a close friend whose trust is highly rated.
- Disclose all the family assets.
As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy, avoid hiding any of the household assets in a bid to win the larger share. If the court discovers that there is limited disclosure, then the case could be ruled against you and impose penalties and be charged with the crime.
Disclosing will also reduce the cost of involving an attorney.
- Close any joint accounts.
As soon as the decision to part ways is made, move with speed and close any joint account that you could be having. The other party might decide to withdraw any surplus money in the account for his or her benefit.
In case of joint credit cards, ensure to close them and transfer any excess amounts to a new credit card account. This will prevent any further funds from being incurred in case the other partners decide to spend on any balances without consent of the other party.
As soon as you close the joint account, ensure that you open a separate savings account where your partner does not have access over it. This will enable one plan for after the breakup and settling in a new environment and single without anyone micromanaging the finances.
- Make a draft of a divorce settlement agreement.
During the presentation of the divorce papers to the judge for approval, it's prudent to attach a settlement agreement that is well written. The contract should include the child custody, division of marital property, alimony and child support.
To make it easier and less costly, a mediator can step in to help in drafting the agreement and ensure that both spouses sign it before submission.
- Consider a lawyer who can offer unbundled services.
Rather than having to give the lawyer all the work to do, which will cost more, one can opt to assign specific tasks and handle the rest. The legal term is known as unbundled legal services. Any lawyer can offer but is imperative to ask for clarification on the onset of the legal contract.
Ensure that if you go through this method, the agreement is well elaborated for each party to understand and avoid misunderstandings at a later date.
- Have the financial information in place.
Any divorce case will require financial documents. It's therefore critical to pack them well, preferably open a file and bind the copies together.
In case any of them is requested, then no time and money will be incurred trying to look for them. Some of the documents that are required include Brokerage statements. Bank statements, property and trusts.
- Consider a do-it Yourself Divorce.
In the case that the separating couple does not have disputes in place, a do it yourself, form of divorce works best for them. It is an inexpensive method whereby one can file divorce papers without an attorney. However, it's recommended to have a divorce lawyer going through the documents before submission to the courts, which will be less expensive than hiring a full-time lawyer for the entire process.
- Request for fee waivers.
While filing for the divorce papers, there are two ways one can request for a waiver;
- Pay the fee during the filing of the divorce papers but serve your spouse with the same.
- Consider your income and request the court clerk to waive the fees should you be earning little income.
- Have a health insurance Coverage.
In many cases, one partner secures a health cover for the family. As soon as the decree is made, there is a grace period given to the couples as they plan to secure individual covers. Do not take long to obtain one to avoid medical costs, which can eventually drain your pockets even before the healing process has taken place.
These are only a few among many ways to cut costs.
But what is of paramount importance is how principled one remains to make sure that whatever considerations and sacrifices you made will take precedence.
Ensure that time does not catch up with you and spend the money that could otherwise have been used for another purpose to be consumed as a cost of divorce.