Marriage and Divorce are both expensive ventures, right?
If you have seen the movie, Marriage Story, you will know the run.
The cost involved in the different stages of each is often overbearing. However, there are always ways to keep things easier on the pockets.
If we keep certain factors in mind and manage those professionally, we can cut down the cost by a reasonable amount.
A divorce is a major event in the lives of the parties involved. Since it also involves law, it is recommended to do it the right way, avoiding any mistakes that can happen in the spur of the moment when seeking monetary ease.
Here we discuss some crucial factors you can consider when thinking about divorce and its cost.
We hope this will aid you in making the right choices.
The First Question – Divorce Or…?
When it comes to making a decision, the first question we need to ask ourselves is: “Is this the best choice?”.
The follow-up question would be “what other choice do I have?”
When there are problems that make it difficult for married couples to continue staying together, the fastest resolution one concludes is divorce. Thus, understanding divorce, the alternatives to it, and the ways to do it cost-effectively are very important.
Legal separation is an alternative a couple can consider before deciding on divorce. It also makes the process easier if eventually divorce is taken as the final recourse.
The major difference is legal separation allows the couple to stay apart and live independent lives without legally ending the marriage, whereas in divorce both parties legally end their marriage and are free to restart their lives.
Both involve legally bound arrangements for property division, child custody, etc. However, with legal separation, the insurance, tax, or security benefits can be continued in mutual agreement. It can also act as a forerunner for divorce, to make the right choice, or as a strong point for the divorce file.
How Does It Help?
Legal separation can be a precursor or forerunner for divorce, a strong point for the divorce file, and make the divorce process much easier.
The reasons for it are:
- First, it allows the couple to confirm their choice.
- Second, the legal arrangement concerning the rights and responsibilities that were decided during the separation could be established again in divorce, saving half the job.
- Third, you can use it as a strong point to show both parties cannot continue together in the marriage.
- And finally, since most parts of the process are already discussed and decided, the divorce process will be faster, and you can cut down on the time spent in the court and thus the associated fees.
After You Decide On Divorce – Differences Make A Difference
When you enter divorce, there are a lot of factors that can come into play.
How one chooses to go through the entire process can be a deciding factor in the cost. When there are a lot of disagreements and accusations between the couple, the process can get longer.
Each party has to claim the fault points they accuse by hiring a strong experienced attorney, conducting an investigation, and providing evidence. These make the cost go high.
On the other hand, if the parties can decide on a collaborative legal divorce a lot of additional costs can be cut down.
In a collaborative divorce, instead of citing accusations, they provide irreconcilable differences as the sole reason for divorce. If the couple has decided on that, the court will directly proceed to the next steps.
Here, the legal separation instance can be helpful, to legally bind the property and role divisions that were followed before.
Therefore, a collaborative legal divorce based on ‘irreconcilable differences’ has the benefits of bringing down the expense of divorce as well as faster completion of the court procedure.
As with everything else, being aware of the costs involved, the divorce procedure, and preparing by arranging the attorney and necessary documents would save a lot of time and money.
Some points to keep in mind are:
- Come to a mutual agreement on property division, child custody, partner support, etc prior to approaching the court.
- Consult with the family lawyer to get clarity on matters
- Hire a professional divorce attorney for the final procedure
- Keep all the documents ready
The expenses can go higher for couples living in different states from each other. Thus understanding the jurisdiction is also important for cost-effectiveness.
Even when hiring a divorce attorney, choosing an expert would help with the cost that would otherwise be wasted on doing trial-and-error with lawyers to find the right one, or even paying the amount and not getting things done.
Going to court will definitely cost because there are unavoidable fees like court costs and legal fees. So the only option to save that expense is by taking things out-of-court and settling them in private.
However, it is not entirely cost-effective but comparatively less expensive than court proceedings.
The parties can choose to involve experts from different fields to help with the decision of property division and other matters post-divorce.
The advantage of choosing this over court is avoiding the courtroom scenes, saving much of the emotional energy.
- Save the Emotional Energy: This can be achieved through a collaborative process. Both parties can hire their respective lawyers and if necessary other experts to discuss the divorce and make the settlements in private.
- A Psychological Move: We would call hiring divorce mediators a psychological move because often they are experts with specialized psychological training. It could be a marriage and family therapist, who would help the couple get clarity on their decision and aid in making the process a smooth and peaceful one.
- Wear That Coat, But..: This is where a couple decides to do it on their own without hiring an attorney or any experts. The couple talks and negotiates with each other to conclude the status of their marriage, as well as the responsibilities following it.
The only cost involved here is the paperwork, to make it legal and official.
However, when they decide to wear the coat of the attorney, the possible mistakes and risks are higher, especially since divorce is a concern of legal authority.
Therefore, choosing this option should be done critically, and consulting with a professional in the field would benefit in avoiding any mistakes.
Thus, divorce can be made cost-effective by considering what is best for you both financially and legally. Get clarity about each stage to avoid mistakes.
We hope you save your emotional and financial resources skilfully.