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How to Save Money (and Time) on Your Divorce

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Divorce is thought to be one of the most difficult things you can go through in life. It doesn’t need to be as stressful or expensive as it often is, when you plan things out properly. 

To help you out, we have put together some tips and advice to keep divorce costs down and make the whole process much easier on all involved.

Using these tips will mean you get to keep your hard-earned money in your pocket rather than handing it over in wads to ruthless solicitors and expensive court hearings. 

 

Control Your Feelings and Emotions

 

It is best to avoid letting your feelings and emotions get the better of you during negotiations, as they have a habit of making divorces run on for longer than they need to. 

The best and most effective way to do this is looking at financial separation and divorce process as a legal matter you need to get through in order to continue your life. Rather than seeing it as a way of getting revenge or one over your ex-spouse. 

When this happens, the only people that win are the lawyers and solicitors who charge by the hour. They’re more than happy to facilitate a stressful divorce as these pay the most, but cost you the most time, money and emotional stress.

Give Mediation a Try

Mediation is used as a way of preventing confrontation between couples and to help them reach agreements involving circumstances and choices related to the breakdown of their marriage.

For instance, child maintenance, visitation and money matters.

Your divorce lawyer will normally be able to put you in contact with a mediation expert.

Arranging mediation costs a lot less than going through court and during the process you will continue to receive legal advice from your lawyer. 

As well as guiding you through the mediation process, are also able to provide advice on agreement terms and any issues related to the implementation of the terms. 

This includes Consent Order drafts, which is the document that is required to record financial agreements that have been reached.

From 2014 onwards, couples throughout Wales and England are required to attend one MIAM or Mediation Information Assessment Meeting in order for court proceedings related to money matters to be started.

This is actually to everyone’s benefit. If you’ve been at each others throats, a neutral party could facilitate a more reasonable conversation between you both as they don’t have the same emotional input into your divorce. 

This will save you time and money. As for the courts, they save a ton of time on a matter that could have just been resolved in mediation rather than the prolonged process it takes to have a hearing in court. It’s win-win.

 

Always Get Professional Legal Advice, Unless...

Make sure you get professional legal advice early on in the process from your lawyer and make sure you have all the information related to your finances before the first mediation meeting or other appointments.

Divorce lawyers are only able to help you once they have the full information.

Assess the assets you have, for instance, any income and property and outgoings, such as credit cards, loans and school feels and make sure everything is organised into folders, so that you or your lawyer can access it as required.

However, the cheapest way to divorce is by not involving solicitors at all.

The catch is that this can only be achieved if you’re both on the same page and both want the divorce over as quickly as possible. 

When this happens, you actually have the option of divorcing online available to you which is much, much faster and way cheaper than going back and forth with each others respective legal representatives. 

The only time you don’t have this option available is if your divorce is a little more complicated and has hidden assets involved which need to be brought to light in a courtroom and a judgement made one way or another.

If you’re also in an abusive relationship, we recommend legal intervention immediately to ensure you’re protected from the abusive partner. 

Otherwise, try and go the online route if at all possible. You’ll save a ton on the cost of divorce and speed things up immensely as a bonus. 

Know When It’s Time To Walk Away

It can be very easy to lose focus of what is really important while negotiating a deal.

You need to keep in mind that as long as the negotiations continue, the harder and longer it will be for both you and your ex to move on with things, and the higher the costs are going to be.

Therefore, you need to know when the time is right to stop negotiations and come to an agreement. Your lawyer will be able to give you advice regarding this.

It’s worth thinking about any small gains you’re after and weigh them up against the added cost of prolonging negotiations.

Oftentimes these extra things you’re after will be completely wiped out by the cost of continuing negotiations and paying your legal representation. 

Wait Until the Divorce Is Finalised Before Moving in With Your New Partner

If you don’t wait until the divorce process has been completed before moving in with a new partner, it could complicate things and have a negative effect on the whole settlement. 

Their assets could be considered part of the process and it may result in the legal costs being considerably higher, not to mention you’ll likely incur the wrath of your new partner for dragging him or her into your old business. 

Exercising patience and waiting until the whole process is over will lift any clouds hanging over you and your new partner’s heads. 

Hopefully, these five tips will save you a considerable amount of money, time and heartache when going through a process we never anticipated having to go through when we say, “I do”. 

Stick to these guidelines and you’ll be free to move on with your life and your pockets a little fuller than they otherwise might have been.

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  • 17th April 2020
  • First Friday Network