Top 11 Ways To Save Money During Your Divorce in 2020

You only have to look around at the married couples you know, and you’ll see that it’s become rare to find truly happy marriages. Divorce is ripping apart marriages at an unprecedented rate. And for every divorce, there are many other homes that are miserable. 

What’s causing the divorce rate to spiral out of control? Is it dating too early? Is it indulging in sex before marriage? Is it women who have become too controlling or men who have become too weak? Is it Internet porn? Or is it perhaps that marriage is something that should be reserved for just those few who can commit to it 100%?

 Very Few Couples have the Finances for a Legal Battle

Maybe you’re splitting as a couple because of financial difficulties. You’re always bickering about where the money was going to come from to pay for this and for that. When you get a divorce, you’re going to have to re-think your finances yet again.

Very few people have the finances to fight a legal battle. Many people believe they have to get solicitors involved right away to get that which they believe they’re entitled. To save money, however, it is best to come to an agreement with each other on as many matters as possible. Going to court is costly and should be looked upon as a last resort. 

Attorney Fees and other Alternatives 

The cost of divorce can be significant, depending on a few factors. One of the most expensive factors is attorney fees. Even if you are prepared for a divorce, the petition and divorce papers can still be quite upsetting. All you can hope for is that the divorce process goes quickly. It can if you’re able to come to an agreement about issues such as the division of property and child custody and visitation rights. 

An uncontested divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will be smooth sailing, but it does speed up the process while making the divorce more amicable by reducing legal fees, court time, and drama.   

If your divorce looks to be agreeable and uncontested, it can be beneficial to go through the process without an attorney to save money.

If the two of you don’t agree on the full terms of your divorce, your divorce is considered contested. 

We’re going to look at 11 ways you can save money during your divorce in 2020.

  1.     Be Organized

Being disorganized and without a goal will be costly because it means your attorney will require more time to sort out your chaos. Make sure all your relevant divorce documents and papers are together so your lawyer doesn’t have to ask for them for your next consultation.   

Extra phone calls, emails, and visits to your attorney’s office can be time consuming extending the overall length of the divorce process. Make a list of things that need immediate attention and work through them methodically. 

  1.     General reduction of costs of Divorce

Legal experts tell us that in 2019 the average cost of divorce is roughly $15,000 per person. The time aspect determines much of the costs because an average divorce takes between a few months and a year to finalize. The divorce can take even longer if a trial is necessary. 

The costs of a divorce don’t end once the divorce is finalized. Even after the final papers are signed, there are a host of post-divorce responsibilities that have to be tackled as well.

Legal fees are a huge expense in a divorce. You can save money by making copies of all your paperwork instead of having the attorney’s office make the copies for you. Since attorneys often charge by the hour, the less time your lawyer has to spend dealing with your divorce, the fewer billable hours you’ll be charged. Planning ahead is important for saving money during a divorce and making it far more affordable.

Coming to an amicable compromise on any and all disputes can save you thousands of dollars in court costs and other legal fees. Both of you need to be fair and reasonable if you want to go through a divorce without spending all your money on litigation.

  1.     Online Divorce

 There are legal firms that actually offer couples an online service to draw up an agreement that will be valid in court. All details are completed online and an agreement is automatically generated.

 You just need to bear in mind that while online divorce services do provide divorce forms, the forms still have to be filled in properly to be valid under the law. Some online services offer access to an attorney for a minimum fee while others will offer live online chats with a legal advisor. 

Divorce over the Internet requires that couples access their divorce forms online then submit them to the court. This process can be done without an attorney reducing the cost of divorce significantly.  If needed, there are some online services that offer paperwork help as well as consultations between a client and a legal representative. 

The main advantage of most online divorce services is cost, because you don’t have to meet face-to-face with an attorney. Generally, you go to the online divorce service website, enter your contact information, enter a payment method and then confirm to start the process.

A do-it-yourself divorce isn’t for everyone, particularly if you’re in a bad spot emotionally since it involves quite a bit of your personal time. The time commitment is why some couples prefer to resort to a lawyer who will do it all for you. Find more about getting a divorce over the internet here:

  1.   Mediation

Mediation is used fairly often to assist in negotiating a divorce settlement. This is when a neutral third party, known as a mediator, is hired to resolve the issues in your divorce. The mediator’s main goal is to assist both parties in reaching an agreement that will please both sides.

Mediation is considerably less expensive than divorce litigation, and most mediations end in a settlement of all of the issues at hand.

More about divorce mediation: 

  1.   Agree on a Fair settlement

It is important to agree on a fair and equitable settlement the first time around. When ex-spouses come back to court to attempt to get an even larger share of assets after their original divorce agreement, the result is added expenses for both sides. 

There are many factors that go into a fair settlement.  If you have questions about what constitutes a fair agreement, an experienced family law attorney can be of great help.  In a situation where the division of assets is too complex, a financial analysis expert can help couples with determining an amicable split of their assets 

  1.   Change Your Spending Habits

Being on your own as a result of a divorce forces you to make a lot of lifestyle changes. One of the biggest changes you’ll have to make is with your spending habits. You will find that you’ll need to spend less money in some instances and more in others. Plan for your new way of spending by adjusting your budget. You may need to explain the new spending arrangements to your children.

If you are having trouble working out your new spending habits, a financial planner can be a good idea. A financial planner will be able to look at educational expenses, medical expenses and general living expenses to help you come up with a budget that works for your financial situation.  

  1.   Use Associates where Possible

When you apply for a divorce it pays to do research and to find experts.

It is possible to lower your attorney fees and benefit from a cheap divorce when you opt to use a legal associate. Attorneys have capable young associates with the skills to handle divorce cases. Associates are cheaper since they don’t have the same long track records as their superiors in the firm. Paralegals are also able to do quite a bit of the legal work, and they bill at a lower rate. 

  1.   Hidden but Discoverable Assets in a Divorce

Getting a divorce requires that there is full and honest disclosure of all finances. Hiding assets can be a very costly mistake. You could end up facing future legal action, having your divorce settlement renegotiated, and being on the hook for new attorney fees and court costs.

You need to investigate all assets that you might own. If anything is forgotten, ignorance isn’t going to be accepted as an excuse for not disclosing those assets. 

  1.   File Your Own Divorce

With a no-fault divorce, it may be a good idea to file your own divorce so long as both spouses are in agreement on all issues. A no-fault divorce is where the spouse filing for divorce doesn’t have to prove any fault on the part of the other spouse. 

You need to make sure you have the time and inclination to gather all your necessary divorce documentation and research your state’s laws. That is why, for many people, an attorney is helpful as they are familiar with divorce laws and the courts. You do not, however, have to hire an attorney. The basic steps for filing a divorce on your own include drafting the divorce petition, filing the divorce petition and other documents in court, allowing the waiting period (which can vary from state to state) to pass, and finalizing the divorce by reaching an agreement with the scheduling of a final hearing.

  1. Free Divorce-Help to Qualifying Couples

A divorce can be pretty costly. It is ludicrous to think that you can’t get divorced because you don’t have money. If you lack the money for a proper divorce, you may qualify for free services or low-cost divorce-help services. If you are a low income family in need of legal aid, there are a few places you can look such as, for example. 

  1. Sign a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement can be useful for simplifying a long divorce procedure and saving  money. It should be considered before entering into a marriage contract. Signing a prenuptial agreement can keep your finances separate, protect your business interests should your ex want some claim to it, and limit your debt liability should your spouse have lots of debt. 

You certainly don’t want to end up with your spouse’s debt when you split and part company.

Summing Up: 

Thousands of people are divorcing every day and looking for legal information about divorce. When they discover that the fees for an attorney can be roughly $250 per hour, they start looking for ways to get a less expensive divorce. 

The financial implications of a divorce can be overwhelming. Because a marriage must be dissolved by a court, it can take a great deal of time. The more time a divorce takes, the more costly the process will be. The best way to reduce divorce costs is to avoid a trial. 

Do research on divorce. Learn the steps you can take to ensure your divorce doesn’t break you financially. The trauma of a divorce is hard enough. You don’t need the trauma of being financially bereft as well. 

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