Are you stuck in an unhappy marriage but can’t get out of it because you can’t find a low cost divorce attorney? Going through a divorce might leave you emotional vulnerable, it doesn’t have to leave you financially vulnerable as well.
Finding a low cost divorce attorney is part of the process of getting through the separation without losing all of your money, but there are other simple tips that will help you hold onto thousands as well. However, finding the right low cost divorce attorney is the first step in saving money in your divorce. In addition to saving you thousands in legal fees, a good low cost divorce attorney will actually help you find other ways to hold onto your assets.
To help you survive your divorce, we’ve put together a list of divorce help tips that will save you big bucks.
Five Tips for Saving Money While Filing Uncontested Divorce Papers
- Understand What You’re Going to Pay, in Advance.
When you sign a contract with a lawyer, the contract will include a fee agreement that outlines everything coming out of your pocket. This will tell you what you’re going to be paying for the time that your lawyer spends on your case, as well as incidental fees such as making copies, sending documents through the mail, and traveling. Understanding what these things cost you will help you make choices, such as whether or not you feel like a photocopy of the complete works of J.K. Rowling should be included in your legal documents.
- Organize Your Documents in Advance.
There is a lot of documentation involved in a divorce. You might need financial records, correspondence that took place via email, phone records, and so on. If you just bring a mish mash of paperwork, with no rhyme or reason, your attorney is going to spend their expensive time getting your organized. However, if you put together an easily-referenced binder with tabs for “bank statements,” “email conversations,” “assets” or whatever applies to your divorce, your lawyer doesn’t have to spend time getting you organized, and it also helps them determine the best direction to go in right away, which saves you more cash.
- Put Together Your Financial Disclosure Statement.
The first thing your lawyer is going to do while putting together your divorce for you is to conduct a discovery of the assets that you and your spouse share. You might not have a legal degree, but you do have a better understanding of where your money is than your lawyer, and can help their discovery work go a lot faster. If you put together a rough draft of bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage reports, and retirement balances, it makes their job easier (and requires less time, which equals less expense to you).
- Use Paralegals When You Can.
Getting help from your attorneys paralegal costs you less than taking time from your attorney themselves. If you need help with the strategic direction of your divorce, you should probably schedule time with your lawyer. But if you only need administrative help with your documentation, or need to know critical scheduled dates in your divorce, or need copies of your pleadings, these are all things that a paralegal can do at little or no cost to you.
- Get Professional Help.
We aren’t talking about therapy (although it’s not a bad idea when going through a divorce). Getting your divorce done right is the best way to ensure you don’t make any mistakes that cost you big time down the road. To ensure it’s done correctly, you might need professional help from experts outside of the legal field. You might need to hire an accountant to go over your finances for you. You might need an appraiser to give you a valuation of your assets. You might need a tax professional to give you the tax implications of closing out a retirement account early, for example. Don’t try to do these things yourself, it could cost you far more than the expense of taking it to a pro to have it done right the first time.
Do you have any other questions or comments about getting through divorce without going broke? Share your input with us in the comment section below!