It’s impossible to put an exact figure on the costs of divorce proceedings. Each case is different and turns on its own fact.
Where do you start to reduce costs during divorce proceedings?
Divorces can quickly become very expensive, so it’s very important to be aware of what to expect and how you can do your best to avoid racking up unimaginable fees. Here are the best tips, prepared by our experts.
1. If possible, keep talking to your ex-spouse
Being civil with your ex-spouse can sometimes be one of the hardest things during divorce but the more you can talk and agree on things – the cheaper the whole process will be. The more you can agree on in terms of finances, pensions, and children before any lawyers get involved, the quicker and cheaper the process will be. In some cases, especially if there is any history of domestic abuse, this may not be possible, but it is certainly a good start for trying to keep costs under control.
2. Don’t be stubborn or greedy
Very often we have seen divorces turn into very nasty and bitter disputes over money and personal possessions. These arguments tend to turn into very bitter feuds over things that sometimes have very little value. Don’t waste money on lawyers writing letters for something that has very little merit. Often you can spend more than the item is worth. Let it go.
Use your time with your lawyer wisely
Make sure to ask your solicitor all the questions you need to ask within the time allotted, to get as much information as you need. Plan your contact with your lawyer in advance to use the time wisely. Also, get the information your lawyer will need – credit card statements, evidence of earning capacity, and arrangements for the children over the past 12 months, in an easy-to-use format for the lawyer.
Being organized is key, send them a PDF of all your documents, to avoid using your lawyer’s time to do administrative tasks you could do yourself, saving you time and a fair amount of money here. Also, don’t use your lawyer as your support worker, to get you through the emotional stress of the divorce. It will all add to your legal bill.
4. Avoid the final hearing
This is where legal bills really start to get out of control. Once you are preparing for the final hearing, it is time to pay your lawyer and barrister. The court process is unnecessarily cumbersome, and the preparation needed to get ready for a final hearing can add THOUSANDS to your bill.
So, always think about keeping the lines of communication open and do everything to reach an agreement with your ex, outside the court. This will do wonders for keeping the costs down.
There are many descriptions of adopting a mediation approach or a collaborative approach – but at its essence, it’s about talking and reaching an amicable financial settlement that’s palatable for everyone. The same goes for the children. Avoid, if possible, Children’s Act proceedings. Which will be emotionally difficult for all concerned and especially stressful for the children.
In short, while trying to reduce divorce costs – think about what you want to achieve and stay flexible. When the time is right, sit down with your ex-partner and have a conversation and get yourselves organized. Most importantly, be sensible about what you might get into a fight about and try your best to find a solution without a dispute. Reach an agreement and move on, saving both time, emotional stress, and cost.