Divorce is costly, averaging between $7,500 and $17,500. Considering that your household income is soon to become half of what it is now, it is wise to look now for ways to minimize the cost of separation.
According to U.S. News, the best way to minimize the cost of divorce is to alleviate the fighting. If you and your spouse can agree on all or most of the terms of the separation, you can save thousands of dollars right there. Aside from that, though, there are other steps you can take to make your divorce less expensive.
Try to work things out on your own before hiring professionals
Most people assume that you need a lawyer to initiate a divorce. This is not the case. If you and your spouse genuinely like each other, you may be able to work most issues out yourself and without ever involving professionals. Though you may still need assistance with reviewing and submitting your paperwork, you can significantly reduce the overall costs. To make the most of your efforts, U.S. News suggests discussing the following:
- Health insurance
- Child support
These are the main issues over which couples argue, and the issues that tend to increase divorce costs.
Fill out and submit your paperwork in a timely fashion
One of the biggest time wastes — and, therefore, monetary wastes — associated with divorce is people not complying with filing deadlines. If you fail to cooperate with the court’s filing deadlines, your lawyer will either have to gather the documentation on your behalf or submit additional paperwork explaining the delay. Either way, the more delays you encounter, the more you will face in fees. To avoid acquiring unnecessary fees, fill out and submit your paperwork on time.
Try to handle small matters on your own
Attorneys charge for every minute of their time you consume, and they do not prorate their rates, either — most charge by the hour, even if you only require a few minutes. While it is important to keep relevant professionals in the loop on major events and updates, do not burden them with every little grievance you have throughout the process. Though most divorce professionals are happy to lend a listening ear, they do so at a high price. If you want to keep your costs down, try to work through and resolve small and emotional issues on your own.
Divorce will likely cost you a couple of thousands of dollars. However, it does not have to cost you a fortune. Take the above advice to heart to minimize the cost of your separation.