In our previous blog, we discussed some of the major financial issues spouses need to consider in divorce. While the process is certainly an emotional experience that paves the way for a new future, it is also a complex legal proceeding that can and does affect one’s finances. The financial impact of divorce isn’t limited to just your future either – the process itself costs money too. How much? Well, that depends.
As we have mentioned, there is tremendous value to paying for services you simply can’t handle yourself, or that handling yourself would create risks that can cause more harm than good. It’s why we turn to professionals to aid is with nearly any major issue we have – from fixing a roof or installing a new countertop to filing our taxes, going to the doctor, and buying or selling a home. While good service and reputable professionals do cost money, they should be viewed as an investment in your future, and an expense that can save you time and money in the long run.
Attorneys’ fees are only one part of divorce-related costs. There are also other expenses to consider. These naturally include fees associated with court filings or court-related paperwork. However, these fees don’t tend to fluctuate as much as other potential divorce expenses can, which is why divorcing spouses have a great deal of potential when it comes to managing costs and prioritizing a more efficient divorce process.
Divorcing spouses can manage expenses during the process by taken a few things to mind. Some examples may include:
- Disputes – Whether a divorce is defined as a contested or uncontested divorce, there can still be areas of dispute and disagreement. However, keeping sight of the “bigger picture,” that is the desire to finalize a divorce, can help spouses realize what is and what is not worth a fight. Depending on the nature of a dispute, spouses can end up spending more money to protect their stance, even if it is a minor issue in the grand scheme of their case, or something that can be resolved through other less costly means.
- Litigation – Part of the reason why it’s important to “choose your battles,” and to approach those “battles” from a reasonable state of mind is that disputes can lead to litigation. This means spouses will need to prepare for trial, gather evidence to support their claims, and raise arguments about whatever it is they are disputing. In some matters, litigation may be necessary. However, it isn’t how a majority of divorce cases are actually resolved. That’s due to not only the extra expenses associated with prepping for and proceeding with trial, or paying for expert consultants and witnesses, but also because litigation can take the ability to resolve a matter out of your hands, potentially earning you an outcome you didn’t desire.
- Work with your lawyer – Cooperation is important to controlling costs in multiple areas of divorce, especially when it comes to working with your lawyer. For one, cooperation with your attorney can help create the tone for an efficient process. Being organized, providing the right documentation, being honest, attending meetings and hearings on time, and minimizing unnecessary tasks can also reduce expenses. Time, as they say, is money, and you want your attorney to focus on what really matters using all the information you can provide, rather than pay them to engage in fruitless battles or wild goose hunts.
- Negotiation – Most divorces do not go to trial. Instead, they are resolved out of the courtroom through negotiations between the spouses involved. The ability to be reasonable and open-minded can go a long way when it comes to communicating effectively and striking compromises that both spouses can agree with. Ultimately, this can cut costs associated with contested disputes or drawn out battles over insignificant issues that require court hearings, litigation, and more expenses. You can still prioritize your goals and what you specifically are looking for, and work toward them in negotiations, but you also need to manage expectations and understand that negotiation and compromise are key to reducing the financial, and emotional, toll of divorce.
- Other Resolution Methods – There are additional ways spouses can approach divorce with a focus on efficiency and cost-effectiveness. This includes collaborative divorce and alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation. Our firm is comprised not only of talented trial lawyers who know how to aggressively protect our clients’ rights in court and at the bargaining table, but also attorneys who value what’s important to clients, especially if that means compromise. Our team also includes a Supreme Court Certified Mediator.
Finances are a major concern in divorce, which is why our team at Schuttler, Greengberg & Mullins, LLC addresses the issue up front and honestly with our clients. During an in initial consultation, we can provide information about the financial aspects that will need to be addressed in your divorce – from alimony to property division – and the actual costs of working with our attorneys, reasonable expectations for budgets, and any other financial concerns you may have. Because every marriage and every case is unique, so are the financial issues involved.
Learn more about divorce and how our Boca Raton attorneys can help you. Call (561) 336-6082 or contact us online to request a consultation.