Divorce is expensive, but it doesn’t have to completely drain your finances. Believe it or not, there are ways to save money during divorce. And we don’t mean giving up your daily coffee or canceling your Netflix subscription (although those are certainly two ways to save).
You can actually save money on your legal fees during divorce. Here are the top 7 ways to cut your legal expenses so you divorce doesn’t drain your account.
How to Save Money During Divorce
1. Understand Your Agreement
Your attorney’s fee agreement explains out what you’ll pay for their time and services, including paralegals and legal assistants. It should also state whether your attorney charges for things like travel, copying, and mailing. Be sure that you have read over it and understand the fees completely. Understanding what you’ll be charged for can save you a lot of money.
2. Consider Mediation
Divorce trials are expensive, but alternative methods of resolution can save you a lot of time, money, and emotional distress. Mediation is a popular alternative to the courtroom. Couples that choose this route settle every aspect of their divorce in meetings with their respective attorneys, avoiding expensive trials. And unlike a trial, where the outcome is ultimately decided by the judge, mediation allows the couple to retain more control over the proceedings and their future.
3. Get Organized
The phrase “time is money” is especially accurate when talking about an attorney’s time. Before you contact your attorney or go in for a meeting, be sure to have everything ready so you can keep your meetings running efficiently. Being organized will also cut down on the number of times you’ll have to reach out to your lawyer, saving you time and money.
4. Organize Your Financials
It’s especially important to get your financial records in order. If you or your spouse are seeking spousal support, you’ll want to have all of your income and expenses ready for your attorney to examine. Don’t waste their time – and yours – by handing them a stack of statements to sift through.
5. Contact Paralegals and Legal Assistants When Possible
Paralegals and legal assistants bill at a much lower rate than attorneys, if they bill at all, so when you have a quick question about administrative issues, you’re better off contacting them. After all, you pay your lawyer to provide legal advice, not to remind you when your next court date is.
6. Don’t Treat Your Lawyer Like a Therapist
Again, you pay your attorney to give you legal advice and represent you in court, not to give life advice. Calling them every time your former spouse upsets you will skyrocket your legal fees. If you need to talk, save your money and see a therapist who can help you work past the trauma of divorce.
7. Don’t Use Your Lawyer to Communicate With Your Spouse
If you and your former spouse just can’t get along, don’t make your attorney the conduit for communication. Again, this will drive your legal bills up – quickly. If you cannot communicate directly with your former spouse because emotions are high, consult a mediator and a therapist.
Let Our Raleigh Divorce Attorneys Guide You Through This Process
If you would like to schedule a consultation to your divorce, please contact our office at [phone] or fill out our online contact form below. Whether you’re interested in seeking mediation or a traditional divorce trial, we’re here to help.
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