Getting divorced is a significant financial investment. The more disagreements that arise during the divorce, the more the divorce process costs. Here are some tips to keep your divorce costs low:
Gather copies of all financial and property records.The money trail almost always becomes an issue – where money was spent, on what, and on whom. The marital residence, vehicles, and investment property also becomes contentious as those are the “big ticket” items. Compiling this information at the beginning of the divorce saves you time and money.
Give full answers to discovery requests.Discovery is how either spouse’s attorney gains the financial, property, and personal information from the other side. This information is crucial to property division and to make certain claims on issues such as custody or fault for the divorce. By providing full and complete answers to your attorney on the first go-around, you are saving money by avoiding meetings or phone calls with your attorney.
Talk to your soon-to-be-ex.
You can talk to your spouse. You can negotiate with your spouse without your attorneys present. You can agree on terms of the divorce with your spouse without your attorney, as long as your attorney reviews those terms to confirm a judge will approve the agreement. A divorce does not mean all communication with your spouse ceases. In fact, a mature conversation between spouses about the divorce and how to resolve certain issues can assist both you and your spouse to walk away in the best financial position possible .
Talk to your attorney and be honest.Fairly self-explanatory: If your attorney doesn’t know what you want and what you have already done to get what you want, your attorney will spend more time and more of your money trying to figure it out. If you believe your spouse is in a better position to have primary custody, tell your attorney you will not be fighting for joint custody. If you are fine with splitting your 401k because your spouse was a stay-at-home parent, tell your attorney. The more your attorney knows, the less time and money your attorney spends trying to dig up the answer.
Be your own paralegal.Start a spreadsheet and track what documents have been provided to your attorney and what documents are still outstanding. Fully answer all discovery questions and do not skip any (see Number 2 above). The more attention you give to your divorce, the more you can save in the long run.
Of course, there are always those divorce cases where both spouses are fine spending the entire marital estate fighting over the throw pillows. If you don’t fall into that category, following the above tips will help keep costs low and move your divorce toward resolution. If you have any other questions contact us at Goosmann Law Firm to assist.