For whatever reason – diminished feelings, cheating or general unhappiness – relationships don’t work out. And unfortunately, many couples end up getting a divorce. The Office of National Statistics reported that England and Wales had 117,558 divorces in 2011. Just because so many people are getting divorced, doesn’t mean that the process is easy or cheap.
In fact, getting a divorce is very costly. It drains people’s money, energy, emotional well-being and overall health. And while divorce solicitors can help you terminate the marriage, negotiate custody of the children and divide shared possessions like the house and cars, it all comes with a price. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, the silver lining is that there are several ways in which you can reduce the monetary consequences of a divorce, and be on your way to starting your new life.
Be upfront about money
Lawyers help you navigate the court system and work to get you want you want. While they are good, their service can be costly. Most charge by the hour and by the half hour, however you may be able to negotiate a fixed cost. So, before hiring a solicitor, make sure you discuss the expected costs. It may be beneficial to research solicitors with strong records and to shop around for the best quote.
Don’t call your solicitor unless it’s necessary
Although it sounds counterintuitive, the less time you spend speaking directly to your lawyer, the more money you’ll save. Even a phone call can cost you money. If you have a simple phone call, such as “Was the fax received?” or “Are there any updates?” speak to the secretary. You can save other questions for in-person meetings. Use the time you have with your lawyer wisely.
Be vigilant about paperwork
By organizing all documents yourself, you will save precious time during the proceedings. The court will need to assess your joint finances which include bank and credit card statements, tax returns, assets and other financial records. You can also save money by making all the extra copies. Everyone needs copies of these and other documents, but when your solicitor or the staff makes them, it costs more.
Try to pay as you go
Instead of letting all the fees accumulate and having to pay them at the end of the proceedings, try to pay little by little. This way, you can keep a watchful eye on the bill and you won’t be shocked when you see the complete cost.
Consider seeing a therapist
An attorney is there to help you fight for a divorce and your personal belongings. A lawyer is not there as a shoulder for you to cry on. A divorce is emotionally taxing, but by burdening your lawyer with your emotional woes, you are wasting precious time. To ensure that you have a quick divorce, save all the legal work for your solicitor and the rest of your problems for a licensed therapist. A therapist will also help you overcome any qualms and improve your overall well-being.