No one is fully aware of the expense of divorce until they find themselves in the middle of the process. Anyone considering divorce should stop and think about whether or not they can afford it before moving ahead. After all, you don’t go out and buy a new car if the money isn’t in the budget do you? So, why would you take a major step like divorce before considering all the financial implications?
- The amount of conflict will affect the cost.
The number one way to keep down expenses is to keep the conflict low. Where there is conflict there is a lack of trust. A lack of trust means an unwillingness to negotiate.
The wheels of justice turn slowly and the more time a judge takes to come to a decision, the more money you will spend. If there is a high level of conflict that means a low level of communication between spouses. Attorneys become your go between and when you use an attorney to communicate, he is billing you for his time.
- Where you live will affect the cost.
The cost will vary from state to state. If you live in a state that requires a period of separation before divorce you will be expected to maintain two dwellings plus live according to a financial settlement for a year, maybe even two.
Digging into and learning your state laws pertaining to divorce will help you prepare financially. If you were married in one state and now live in another it would pay to do some research and see which state would be less expensive to divorce in.
- What type of divorce you have will affect the cost.
If there is no conflict and no assets, you can divorce without the services of an attorney. Most states have do it yourself divorce forms with instructions. If the divorce is un-contested and you are able to agree on a settlement with the expense of one attorney you will save money.
- How complex your affairs are will affect the cost.
If you have no child custody issues and no assets then expenses will be low. If you insist on conflict you are going to spend a lot of money getting a divorce. This normally happens when you get an adversarial attorney involved. One interested in keeping the conflict going and make as much money as he can.
If you have complex affairs it pays to get outside help along with an attorney. A CPA, financial advisor, business valuator and probably a psychologist or two to help you through the process.
- How much control you maintain will affect the cost.
Maintaining control of your emotions, not letting anger interfere with your ability to be reasonable is a major issue when it comes to the expense of divorce. You must be able to check your emotions.Staying in control also means knowing your state laws, keeping on top of what your attorney is doing, and not letting your attorney stoke the embers of any bad feelings between you and your spouse. If you can do these things you will end up with a better settlement, save time, experience less pain and, save quite a bit of money.
What You Need
- Self control
- Self respect