Legal matters like divorce can be expensive. The costs of divorce vary by location, the complexity of the case, and the level of contention among the parties. For some tips and information on getting through your divorce without breaking the bank, read below.
Solve Your Own Issues
Couples that can work things out are sure to save money. That is because, for each contested issue, thousands of dollars may be spent to resolve it. For example, it can cost over $2,000 when a parenting expert has to be called upon to do a child custody evaluation. You should also consider the court costs and legal fees connected to any of the below common and tricky divorce issues:
- Child custody and visitation (rather than a parenting evaluation)
- Dividing up marital property (rather than having a judge decide)
- Full disclosure of financial information (rather than subpoenaing for records)
Simple and Quick
If no children and little property or debt are part of your divorce, then a simplified divorce might be a cheap way to part ways. Forms are usually available at your local county courthouse, but be sure to have a family law attorney review your forms before you submit them. You don't want to accidentally give up important financial rights when you divorce. Be ready to pay the filing fees for divorce in your state when you file. Those fees vary but can range from $50 to $450.
Uncontested and Easy
Even when children and property are involved, if you have managed to work out all the kinks (see above), an uncontested divorce can be an easy and inexpensive way to divorce. Also called a kitchen table divorce, the agreed-upon issues can be brought to a lawyer, made into a petition, and filed with the court. One party files and the other party agrees to the provisions of the petition. This type of divorce will often cost a few hundred dollars along with the filing fee.
Make the Other Party Pay
The above solutions only work for some. Many divorcing couples have complex financial situations and a lot of legal maneuvering is needed. Also, you and your spouse may only agree on a few issues and the rest will need to be hammered out with negotiations, depositions, mediation, and court hearings. Never allow money issues to stop you from getting divorced. If you can show that your spouse makes a lot more income than you do, your lawyer can ask the court to make your spouse pay some or all of your legal costs.
To learn more about divorce money matters, speak to a divorce attorney.