1. Get a Therapist
Getting a therapist can consequentially save you thousands of dollars on your divorce. Most insurance companies cover the cost of mental health counseling, and even in cases where therapists are not covered by your insurance, their hourly rate is often much lower than an attorney’s. If you call your lawyer every time your spouse does something that upsets you, you are going to likely end up racking up excessive attorney’s fees. Additionally, a therapist can help you look at your long-term goals, assist you in prioritizing things that matter, and help you process emotions as you go through this process. All of these things will help you gain more mental clarity in moving forward with your case.
2. Gather Documents Ahead of Time
A large portion of the cost associated with divorce can be found in the discovery process. This is where each side is requesting copies of bank statements, medical records, work history, children’s records, and more. It is important to get access to all of this information first, so that you do not find yourself having to file unnecessary amended documents or have the other side request documents that should already be provided. Get a list of what you need from your attorney and get everything together ahead of time.
3. Be Organized
Organize your documents. This can make all the difference in your divorce. If you are the type of person who is busy, or isn’t very computer savvy, that is completely fine. But if you have the time to organize your documents, and create electronic files and folders labeling what all your documents are, that will save your attorneys and their paralegals tons of time and money.
4. Work Together with Your Spouse
If you have documents that relate to assets, accounts, property or the children that you and your spouse both should have access to, try to share that information with him or her. If you can save them time and money by getting them documents that you know they will need, do what you can to help. Another great way to cut costs is by coming up with availability with your former spouse for hearings, mediation, and depositions ahead of time. Maybe agree that you all will keep one day per week open that you can schedule these events on. If paralegals or attorneys have to constantly email back and forth with both parties, judicial assistants and opposing counsel to schedule a hearing or mediation, it can become costly where parties are consistently unable to find times that work for everyone involved. In addition, stick to your temporary support orders. The last thing you want is to come across a contempt order that requires a fine to be paid or requires that you pay the other side’s attorney fees. Work together and save money.
5. Try to Mediate
If you want to save money, one of the best things you can do is to mediate, as opposed to go to trial. Trial can cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. A day at mediation will cost probably between $1,000 and $3,000. In addition, if you and your spouse can come up to any agreements before then, that is even better.
Working Together is Key
Although divorce is rarely inexpensive, there are many things you can do to keep costs down. We encourage people, regardless of their financial situation to work together, be proactive, trust your legal counsel and above all, be clear, concise and candid when communicating with your attorney and their paralegals. The more you are able to work together, the better off financially you will be in the end.