If you're not keeping an eye on costs, your divorce could end up costing both you and your ex-spouse a lot of money. The last thing you want to have to do while establishing financial independence from your spouse is accumulate debt.
With the following five tips, you can minimize the expense of your divorce and ensure yourself that you are getting off to the right start in establishing your financial independence.
Compromise with your ex-spouse
Highly contested divorces where ex-spouses are unwilling to get along and compromise are typically more expensive. By cooperating with one another, you can minimize your reliance on lawyers for mediation and thereby decrease billable hours that raise the legal fees involved with your divorce case.
Fill out forms yourself when possible
The process of filing for divorce differs greatly by state and jurisdiction. However, regardless of where you live, there are most likely some court financial forms involved with filing for divorce that you can fill out yourself without your lawyer's assistance. Handling such forms yourself will lower the fees you have to pay to your lawyer or accountant to get through your divorce proceedings.
Do some research on your own to find out what steps in divorce proceedings you and your spouse can handle independently of lawyers.
Get jointly owned possessions appraised
In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, divorce requires everything to be split between spouses equally. Of course, you can't split possessions equally if you don't know what individual possessions are worth.
The value of a real estate property varies constantly depending on fluctuations in the market. It's important to know what the currently value of any real estate you own as a couple is before making any decisions on who gets which property.
Other items that it can be difficult to evaluate include collectibles, jewelry, or family businesses. To prevent financial loss or unfairness when you divorce, make sure you understand the value of all of the assets you'll be splitting equally with your ex-spouse.
Don't rely on your lawyer to communicate with your ex-spouse
Often, divorcing spouses make the mistake of using their lawyers as communication channels between one another. This will create unnecessary work for your lawyers and drive up legal fees.
Always communicate directly with your spouse to both avoid miscommunication and excessive reliance on a lawyer's, such as at http://madisonlf.com, assistance. If your exchanges with your spouse tend to become contentious, try communicating only through writing via emails. Also, limit communication to strictly business matters so as not to arouse any anger or animosity.