If you and your spouse are engaged in a contentious courtroom battle, you may already have an inkling of the financial disaster that could be waiting for you on the other side of the divorce. Divorces, even relatively amicable ones, are incredibly expensive. Not only are you paying your attorney several hundred dollars an hour for their time, but you may also be footing the bill for child custody evaluators, financial experts, real estate appraisers, private investigators and more. If you don't want to find yourself in dire straits once the dust settles, you need to take action now, during your divorce to help stop the bleeding.
1. Talk Therapy. You may not really want to spend more money on hiring a mental health therapist, but this is one situation where you can save money by spending it. A therapist can help you come to terms with the divorce and learn to deal with the anger and need for revenge that may be costing you money in court. Many people mistakenly believe that divorce court is an excellent opportunity to get validated for being the victim, but that attitude will only line the pockets of others. If you can learn to deal with the issues that you expect the court to resolve, you and your spouse can sit down and come to some agreements outside of court. Learning how to talk things out with your spouse, with an eye toward saving money, will benefit both of you.
2. Talk Finances. If you have not already spoken to your attorney about controlling costs, you should do so right away. You cannot expect your legal professional to magically know how much money you are able to spend, and having a frank discussion about keeping costs down could help your attorney to help you. You may not realize it, but litigating a divorce can be simple, or complicated and expensive. The more discovery, subpoenas, document requests, interrogatories, expert testimony, etc that your attorney plans to engage in, the more expensive your divorce will be. While you should not attempt to second-guess your attorney's strategy for getting you the best divorce settlement possible, you should also not pretend that you have unlimited amounts of money to spend on the divorce.
3. Help Your Lawyer. You may be surprised at how much you can do yourself to assist your attorney and keep costs down. Anytime your attorney must hire a professional, it's expensive. Consider the following ways to get some of the legwork done for your attorney and save some money:
To find out more about keeping your divorce costs down, speak to your attorney.
When my ex-husband decided to contest my choice to homeschool our children, I knew that I had to defend my right as the custodial parent. Our custody agreement gave me authority over educational decisions, but he still took me to court. I spent a lot of time working with an attorney to find out how best to handle it, and I did a lot of research on the laws as they applied. If you're trying to defend your educational choices amidst your divorce, this site may help. I've built it to share everything I learned and explain the process that I went through to secure my rights.