Getting a divorce is going to cost you some money. There are things you don’t want to scrimp on — like having experienced legal representation. However, how much your divorce ends up costing you largely depends on you and your spouse.
The more time you have to spend in court, the costlier your divorce will be — not just in money, but in time and stress. If you and your spouse can resolve all or at least most of your issues through negotiation, with the help of your attorneys, you can avoid having to go to court to seek a judge’s ruling. That means you save on the number of hours your attorney has to spend preparing to present your case — and the number of hours you can be billed for.
When spouses prioritize amicability, they make the process go more smoothly. If you’re able to speak to one another rather than having your attorneys do all of your communicating for you, you’ll save a lot of money. Moreover, if you can arrive at agreements you can both live with and abide by, you’re less likely to have to go to court to seek modifications because they aren’t working out.
Being prepared and educated about the process can also save you time and money. Find out what kind of information and documentation your attorney needs and have it ready and organized for them.
Of course, questions and concerns will pop up. If possible, keep a list and go over them as necessary with your attorney in one call, email or meeting rather than with a constant drip of inquiries that can become time-consuming for your attorney and therefore more costly for you.
Some divorces are more complicated than others. You and your spouse may have a number of complex assets you need to divide or some complicated issues involving your children. However, even some of the wealthiest people in the world have found a way to divorce amicably and relatively quickly — Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, for example.
If you’re seeking to minimize the cost (monetarily and emotionally) of your divorce, retain an attorney who shares that goal. Responsible attorneys will respect their clients’ wishes and not seek to create drama and conflict by fighting over everything, large and small. This may mean consulting with a few attorneys before you find the one who’s right for you.