If splitting up with your spouse isn’t gut-wrenching enough, then there’s the astronomical cost of getting divorced. Divorce lawyers don’t come cheap, even when the split you are both seeking is considered “no-fault.”
Says Gearing Rackner & McGrath, Portland divorce attorney, in the case of a no-fault divorce, neither party is required to show that the other is at fault for the disintegration of their marriage. But the actual termination of the marriage is a legal process that divorce attorneys must handle in a court of law. Lawyers must make important determinations when it comes to division of property, spousal support, child custody and child support. This of course, takes time and money.
All that said, is it still possible to get a low-cost divorce? According to a recent article, with divorce being both costly and time-consuming, lots of people will attempt to save money during the divorce process. While this isn’t always easy, you can achieve a low-cost divorce if you adhere to several important strategies or steps.
Here are just a few.
Educate Yourself on the Basics of Divorce Law
Presently, every state abides by its own laws, statutes, and rules regarding divorce. With this in mind, prior to filing for a divorce, you need to learn about filing and residency requirements. This way, you will quickly be able to determine if you are able to apply for a divorce immediately. This will save you time and like they say, time is indeed money when it comes to the dissolution of marriage.
It’s important to identify which kinds of divorce are legal in your specific region. For instance, if you are a resident of a no-fault state like Washington or New York, you might want to consider this option for terminating the marriage. A no-fault divorce allows you save on the time and cash that would go into proving which spouse is at fault.
Also, be sure to gather the necessary information regarding “divorce initiation” plus actionable documentation that will give you a boost in confidence when it comes time to legally end the marriage.
Get Along with Your Spouse
This might sound counterintuitive since incessant arguing and constant disagreement might be the cause behind your divorce in the first place. But the experts attest that compromise can play a key role in marriage dissolution since it is said to determine the complexity of the legal process. This isn’t about losing or giving in to your ex. It’s more about financial priorities and goals both short-term and long-term.
In some cases, if you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement that’s mutually beneficial to both parties and considerate of the children, a divorce attorney might not even be necessary. In other words, if you work together, it’s possible for you to navigate the troubled waters of divorce on your own. Remember, you will need to find common ground related to spousal support, property division, and child custody.
You should always be polite with your ex. This keeps things peaceful and professional. You might also be open to maintaining a friendship with your ex, especially when there are children involved.
Consider an Uncontested Divorce
If you have found a way to compromise and get along with your soon to be ex-spouse, you can then file for an uncontested marriage dissolution. In fact, if you both are in total agreement, filing for this kind of divorce is said to be fairly straightforward, if not easy.
Filing for an uncontested divorce is simple since you won’t be arguing over spousal support, child support, visitation/parenting time, child custody, marital asset division, and more. This type of divorce usually takes around one to three months and is, in a word, a real money saver.
Contested divorces can take up to two full years if not more, especially if one spouse refuses to budge on specific issues like an unreasonable spousal support number. Plus, contested divorces are impossible to conduct without divorce attorneys who generally cost between $150 and $400 per hour for their legal services, depending upon their experience and record of success.
By contrast, there are a few states in the U.S. where it’s possible you’ll never have to step foot inside a courtroom, so long as both parties have come to mutual agreements on all significant issues in advance. But lots of other states still require both parties in the divorce to show up in court, even if it is uncontested. But this method remains far cheaper than a contested marital dissolution.