Thinking of getting a divorce, but you are afraid you won’t be able to afford it? Do not fear! This article is for you. Yes, divorce can be insanely expensive, but there are many ways in which you can save money when it comes to ending your marriage. On average, for a contested divorce, it can cost up to $15 000 per person. If you don’t want to be one of these statistics, keep reading for 9 ways to save money in your divorce.
- D.I.Y Divorce
You can easily file for a divorce yourself. This isn’t as hard as it might sound. You can download divorce papers online from your local family court website or find them online. Once you have received your papers, all you will need to do is fill out the documents. Depending on which state you live in, you might have to serve your spouse divorce papers. They can be served either by someone older than the age of 18 or by a professional server. After this, you will need to write out a divorce agreement. This will include how you will split all your assets and debts. If you have children, this agreement should also have a custody arrangement for your children including any visitation rights and child support. A DIY divorce works better for those who don’t have kids and don’t have any major assets or debts.
Once all your documentation is in order, you can then file your documents at your clerk’s office. The clerk will charge you a filing fee. This doesn’t cost a lot, but each state has a different fee. It can range from $80 to $400 depending on where you live. After the papers are all filed, you’ll just need to wait for your divorce to be finalized.
- Use an online divorce service
Another great way to save money is by using an online divorce service. This can be a cheap, fast, and easy way to end your marriage. There are some awesome companies out there that you can use. Using an online service can cost you between $100 and $400. Using an online divorce company is much cheaper than using a lawyer. Yes, lawyers do have their place, but if you can file for a divorce without a lawyer, it will save you a great deal of money.
When you choose an online divorce company, go for a company that has been around for a while. This will ensure that you get the best customer service and documents will be up to date. Within 24 hours after signing up, you can get your divorce papers and be sure they are the documents you need.
- Have an uncontested divorce
An uncontested divorce can really save you money. Instead of fighting in court using lawyers on both sides, which could cost up to $15,000 per couple, choose the simpler route. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse can leave the lawyers out. An uncontested divorce is where you and your spouse agree to everything in your divorce. For example, you will agree on child custody and visitation. You will also agree on how to split your debts and assets, as well as on how much alimony or maintenance you will receive.
- Choose a mediator instead of lengthy court battles
If there are some issues that you are unable to agree upon on your own, mediation is way cheaper than going to court. Mediation costs between $100 and $300 per hour.
Mediation can take up to 3 days maximum. Going to trial can take several months. Therefore, you can see how this will save you money. A mediator basically helps you and your spouse come to an agreement during the divorce proceedings.
Don’t take the approach that by going to court you are getting your spouse back for the hurt that they have caused you. The only person you are hurting in the process is yourself, by emptying your pockets. There are some lawyers out there who would prefer you to fight because this means more cash for them. Be wary of lawyers who want you to go to trial. A great lawyer will do what they can to help you get what you want without killing your bank account.
- Be organized and save money
If you are not the most organized of people, it’s time to wisen up on your organizational skills. By being organized and writing out all your questions and concerns, you can save yourself time and money. If you know exactly what you want to ask your lawyer before you meet, then you will be able to ask when you see them the first time. Remember that lawyers charge per hour. If you can ask them everything you need to in the first session, then you won’t have to make another meeting to chat about more questions. By spending less time with your lawyer, you will be able to save money. The fewer meetings you have to make with your lawyer, the less time you’ll have to take time off work and less money you’ll have to pay for child care too. Doing something so simple can save you money in the long run.
- Use a paralegal or legal assistants
By using paralegals or legal assistants, you can also save money during your divorce. This is because they are much cheaper than using a lawyer. If you have any administrative questions, then using a paralegal to answer your questions will be cheaper.
- Don’t use your lawyer as your psychologist
A lawyer is trained to help you fight your case and get what you want and need out of your divorce. Because your lawyer charges per hour, don’t use them for an emotional outlet. They are not there to listen to why your marriage failed or to hear about how much you hate your ex. If you are struggling emotionally, use a psychologist to help you emotionally. They are properly trained to help you cope with your emotions.
- Create a budget
When it comes to getting divorced, it would be a good idea to create a budget. This is especially true if you were never in charge of the finances during your marriage. Creating a budget will help you to see where you can cut on luxuries and save money.
- Fill out your financial disclosure statement
You know your finances better than anyone else. Therefore, filling out your financial disclosure statement is better for you to do yourself. Your attorney does not have to do this for you. If you can collect all your own supporting documents, then you can save money because your attorney won’t have to do this for you.
On an endnote
There are many ways in which you can save during your marriage dissolution. If you follow all these tips, you can be sure to save a pretty penny. Perhaps, with the money you save, you can take a much deserved holiday to rest and heal.