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Tips on Saving Money During the Divorce Process

by Ted Rechel

posted in Legal

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Divorces can be costly, especially if yours is a contested case. There are many complex issues involved that can challenge even the best family law attorneys. Those complexities often take up a great deal of an attorney's time, which means higher costs for the divorcing spouse. There are, though, ways to save money during the divorce process. Here are eight ways to cut costs during the process.
-Avoid a contested case. Put your emotional baggage aside to work toward a settlement with your spouse. You will save a lot of money in attorneys' fees alone. You'll also feel less stress and be more able to have an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse after the divorce. Start the process early. Every week the case drags on means more cost for you.
-Don't contact your attorney's office with every small annoyance. Unless the issue is an emergency or an urgent matter, you probably only need to touch base with your attorney once a week. You'll have fewer billable hours to pay for, and your attorney can devote his or her time to the big issues. If you fill your attorney in by email, you can save even more, since it doesn't take as much time to read and respond to emails as it does for phone calls. Organize your points before you call or write. A list of points makes it easy for your attorney to scan your message. If your concern can be dealt with by a paralegal, contact your law office's paralegal instead. Their hourly rate is much lower than that of an attorney.
-Track down documentation yourself. Since you will have to exchange a mandatory disclosure with your spouse, take the time to gather pertinent information yourself. If your attorney's office has to track them down, you'll pay higher costs. Make sure you turn in required documents on time. The Court's deadlines are strict. If you miss them, your spouse's attorney may file a motion to compel. That means you'll have to pay your attorney to defend you in court-a costly situation. Be on time.
-Take your attorney's advice. Family law attorneys are experts at what they do. With their education, experience, and knowledge, you can depend on your attorney to give you advice that will empower you. Your well-meaning friends don't have expertise in your state's laws. Going against your attorney's advice can cost you more in the long run. You don't want to disobey your attorney, only to have the Judge order you to do what your attorney advised. That is a waste of the Court's time, your attorney's and your own. Trust the professionals when it comes to legal advice.
-Your goal is not to strip your spouse of all his or her money. No matter how bitter you may feel, don't let your fragile emotional state dictate your actions. If you refrain from vexations litigation and work together with your spouse, you'll save a substantial amount of money. You'll also look much better in the Court's eyes. That's your ultimate goal, since you want an equitable, fair divorce.
-Obey Court Orders. Court Orders are serious matters. Disobeying them can cause you to be held in contempt. If that happens, you may have to pay not only your own attorney's fees, but that of your spouse as well. You'll have to pay your attorney for defending you on the contempt charge. If the contempt charge holds, you may even have to go to jail.
-Be informed. When you receive documents from your attorney's office, study them closely. Make sure you understand everything. Ask your attorney's office to explain anything you do not understand.
-Define your goals at the outset. Before you even go to your first appointment, make a list of those things that you want out of the divorce. Focus on what will be equitable and fair for both parties. If you have children, think of their best interest before your own. clear when defining your goals. If certain outcomes would be unacceptable to you, share those with your attorney right from the start.
About the Author: Theodore Rechel is a Tampa Divorce Attorney at Rechel & Associates, P.A., a full service Divorce and Family Law Firm. His firm focuses on divorce, custody, visitation, child support, alimony and all other divorce and family law services in Tampa family law services in Tampa.
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