Top Tips for Saving Money During a Divorce
Divorce is one of the most stressful things that people can go through during their life. Apart from the emotional and mental toll that a divorce can take, splitting up a marriage can also have a big impact on a person’s finances. From hiring a lawyer, to paying for court costs, relocation expenses, a house sale, and more, there are many different yet unavoidable ways in which a relationship split takes money from the pocket.
However, there are also a variety of ways to save money during the process of a divorce, as long as you’re aware of them. If you want to spend as little cash as possible when splitting lives and assets, it’s important to do some research and planning so that you don’t have to outlay any more funds than necessary. Read on for some top tips to help you spend less during a divorce.
Choosing and Using a Lawyer
For any divorce proceedings, you’ll want to hire a specialist divorce law solicitor like those at Slater and Gordon to help you through the process. However, if you’re angry about your relationship split, it can be a good idea to put off selecting a lawyer until you have your emotions under control (or at least more in hand).
Obviously you will want to hire the best lawyer for the job, but it’s hard to think clearly when your emotions are clouding your judgement. Take some time before you jump into making decisions. This will help you properly determine what kind of legal aid you require, what options you have, and what questions you need to ask a potential consultant.
Once you have chosen a lawyer, utilise their services to educate yourself on the process of divorce, and the ins and outs of finalising financial settlements and custody agreements. You will want to clearly understand what your rights are, what you need to discuss with your ex, and how long the whole thing might take to get sorted.
To keep legal costs to a minimum, go into any meetings or phone conversations with your solicitor well prepared. Don’t waste their time (and your money, since they charge by the hour) dithering. Instead, have all your questions and paperwork in order before the meeting begins.
By being prepared as possible, particularly when it comes to lists of financial assets and liabilities, you’ll not only save yourself cash but also help your lawyer quickly and more easily determine what your next step should be.
As well, whenever you can, ask your lawyer questions via email rather than on the phone or in person. Putting things in writing is generally always quicker than having a conversation which can take longer than expected. Similarly, whenever possible, communicate directly with your ex to determine information, rather than asking your solicitor to contact them. This can be a big money saver over time.
In addition, it’s a good idea not to change lawyers unless it’s truly unavoidable and you think your current representation is inept. Any time you have to brief a new attorney on your case and all the background information that goes with it, you have to pay expensive legal fees. Stick with the one lawyer/law firm to keep costs to a minimum instead.
Seek Advice From Tax and Financial Planning Consultants
Other people it pays to contact for advice are tax specialists and financial planners. If there’s a decent amount of money at stake in the financial settlement, you’ll want to talk to a tax advisor to find out the implications of a proposed agreement, as well as any beneficial tips for minimising tax costs.
A financial planner can also give you advice on how much money you’ll feasibly need to support yourself and any dependents. They can help you determine if you’ll be able to cover the cost of the house you want to keep, or what to do with any settlement proceeds you receive.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
One of the quickest ways that people spend more money than they need to during a divorce is by letting their emotions get away from them. It’s important not to fight with your ex over things you don’t care about — after all, the more the two of your argue over belongings, the more your legal bills will add up.
It also pays to settle out of court wherever possible. A litigated divorce (where a judge has the final say on the division of a couple’s assets, payments, and visitation rights) can be incredibly expensive. Most cases that end up in court cost many thousands of dollars, and can often end up being more than the property involved is even worth. Try to come to an agreement with your ex so you can steer clear of any court involvement.