Hundreds of articles have been written on the subject of how to make divorce less expensive, but this topic still remains one of the hottest where divorce is concerned. Luckily for everyone, new methods and tricks that can help you cut these costs appear regularly.
And they are desperately needed because according to Terin Miller, an expert on all things divorce, the national average cost of a divorce per person in 2019 is $15,000. Miller immediately goes to point out that the duration of the process has a major impact on this cost. So, anything that makes your legal split last longer adds to the tally. In the end, it’s not uncommon for people to declare bankruptcy and some of them never recover from the impact of this separation.
Therefore, if you are facing a divorce, you should use every possible trick and service to help you avoid financial ruin. Here are some of the options you have today:
1. Use an online divorce service
Janet Malkin, an expert on finding the cheapest way to get a divorce in Texas, recommends online divorce services as one of the best ways to cut your costs as well as speed up the process overall. These can only be used for uncontested divorces, but that shouldn’t be an issue for you because uncontested is the only type that gives you any chance of saving money. If you go to court, you won’t be able to avoid paying several thousand by the end of it all.
Online services facilitate the divorce guiding you through every legal step and aiding you in complying with all requirements set by your state and county. This allows the couple to avoid mistakes and various problems caused by misunderstanding or otherwise messing up during the complex legalities surrounding the divorce. In essence, this kind of service is like a legal advisor, just much cheaper. Also, you are the one to file all relevant paperwork, but the service will help you prepare it and provide detailed instructions on what to do and when.
So long as you and your spouse can make peace enough to separate following all legal standard requirements of your state, this service will allow you to avoid hiring an attorney and various additional experts.
2. Prep your financial statements in advance
If you do need to hire a lawyer, you need to minimize the time they have to spend on your case, which means you have to come fully prepared. As the majority of an attorney’s time is spent sorting through financial statements trying to work out your exact net worth, you can cut that bill fast simply by doing all this work in advance.
According to Jessica Emery, a divorce attorney from St. Louis, you need to prepare your tax returns for three years. Add at least three of your pay stubs and collect statements from every bank and credit card company you use. This includes statements on any loans and savings accounts, both shared and personal.
3. Get a counselor instead of a lawyer
If you and your spouse can’t agree on some issues, which means you have to spend money on an attorney and go for a contented divorce, consider going to couple’s counseling first. This won’t be free, but the cost is sure to be lower than a lengthy court case and divorce attorney’s bills.
However, you need to explicitly state to the counselor that you are here to help deal with your separation. It wouldn’t do to waste time trying to fix a relationship that has already died. Instead, explain that you need some help in resolving emotional issues that prevent you from communication, which is necessary to complete an uncontested divorce.