Getting divorced? Are you worried that it will cost you the moon and the sky to finalize? If you are, then there is no need to stress unnecessarily. There are many ways to save money on your divorce; from being well organized to cutting down needless costs. This article will discuss all that you need to know about saving money during your annulment.
1. Be Organized
Before you decide to proceed with your divorce, remember that being organized can help you save money. Whether it’s preparing to send an email or collect your documents, always keep everything organized. Prepare your thoughts by writing down all the questions that you have. This will help you know exactly what to ask your lawyer, which will save you time. Lawyers charge by the hour, so the faster you are able to ask your questions, the less time you will need with your lawyer, and the less it will cost you.
By organizing your documentation in the correct order, you will also be able to find what you need without wasting time.
2. Make sure of your fee agreement
Before you sign anything make sure that you understand your fee agreement. This will ensure that you aren’t surprised by any nasty fees. Have your lawyer spell out the word for word exactly what your fee structure entails. Your fee structure should state whether you will be paying for a paralegal assistant’s time. Check whether or not your lawyer is charging you for emails that they send or for travel time.
If there is anything that you don’t understand, ask your lawyer. By understanding and knowing exactly what the fee agreement is, you will be able to budget for your divorce.
3. Use paralegals or legal assistants
If you can, choose to use paralegals or legal assistants to prepare your paperwork. They will be much cheaper than using an attorney. You might even get lucky and end up paying very little, as sometimes they will do work for free just to gain experience. They can also help you if you have any questions or need help with setting up your court hearing date. But if you have any serious legal questions, it is best to stick with a qualified lawyer.
4. Get your own supporting documents
Some lawyers offer to get all your supporting documentation for you. In order to save money, do this yourself. You know your finances. You can collect your own bank statements, proof of income, credit card balances, mortgage papers, and tax returns. You should also fill out your own financial disclosure statement. By doing this, you can avoid having to pay your lawyer to do it for you.
5. Don’t go to trial
If you really want to save money on your divorce, don’t go to trial. By having an uncontested divorce you will have a cheaper annulment. A contested divorce can cost an average of $15,000 per person. In some cases, it can even reach $30,000. If you can work together to come to an agreement rather than battle it out, it will be in your best financial interests.
6. Use a mediator
Before you decide to go to trial, if you can’t come to an agreement, choose to see a mediator. A mediator will help you and your ex come to an amicable arrangement that will suit both of you. On average, mediation can cost between $100 and $300 per hour. Most couples come to an agreement within a short period of time. In total, you might pay a maximum of $1000, but this is still much cheaper than going to trial.
7. Use an online divorce service
Another option that will cut costs is using an online divorce service such as completecase.com. Online divorce is quickly becoming a very popular option among divorcing couples. You can get all your divorce papers prepared online by online divorce websites. In some cases, you will receive your completed documentation within 24 hours. Some companies charge $139 for this service, while others are a little most expensive, costing as much $500. This is still much cheaper than a divorce with a lawyer.
8. Hire the right professionals
If you need to have your home evaluated, hire an appraiser. This might cost a bit more, but by having a professional do the job, you can be sure of the correct information. This will save you time as well as money. Going back and forth between different people can get costly, so hire the right person from the start. Financial planners can also help you to come up with a realistic budget that will help you stay afloat after your divorce.
9. Don’t lie or hide anything
By law, you can be charged or fined if you lie during your divorce about your assets. Always be honest with your attorney about what you own. This will benefit you in the long run by avoiding fines or even jail time. Honesty is really the best policy in this case.
10. See a therapist
This might seem like it is just adding to the cost of your divorce, but you will actually be saving. How so? Well, many people talk to their lawyers about how they feel. This takes up time, and because lawyers charge per hour, it could end costing you way more than seeing a therapist. If you are battling emotionally, don’t talk to your lawyer about your feelings. See a professional who can help you through your painful emotions.
Divorce can be costly, but it doesn’t have to be. By following the aforementioned tips, you can save a lot of money in the long run. With whatever you save, spoil yourself. Take a short vacation or do something that you have always wanted to do.