While a Divorce can be costly, depending on the issues and level of conflict, there are things you can do to take control of the costs the divorce. Of course, this takes a bit of planning, thought and intention to successfully reduce and/or minimize costs.
What Can YOU Do to Reduce the Costs of your Divorce?
- Increase your Learning Curve. Learn about the divorce process, research concerns, understand the steps and what needs to happen to navigate the process. While your family law attorney is there to support you and help you through the process, if you do not need to ask background and other information-gathering questions (or at least fewer of them), you can dramatically reduce the costs of your overall divorce process. Research divorce or other family laws in the state of your divorce (Kansas or Missouri). If you research information pertaining to your divorce not only will you need less background explanation, but hopefully, in understanding things you will make fewer mistakes and this will lead to fewer costly issues that your divorce attorney has to work through, problem solve and resolve. You may be able to conduct research at your local library, through google or even by reading and researching our firm’s website.
- Avoid Litigating Issues! Be prepared to see the process through in a calm, reasoned manner. Only proceed with litigation if all other options for resolution have been exhausted. Settlement negotiations, settlement conferences, preparation of settlement agreements, among other strategies should be utilized and recommended by your divorce lawyer prior to proceeding with preparing for court or contested litigation. Ultimately, however, if the other party is determined to bring the case to trial, you will likely need to proceed with preparing for and attending a trial. In such circumstances, working with your family law attorney to develop strategies to provide them with the needed information and engage in as much of the preparation for the trial as possible outside of their office will greatly impact minimizing the costs of the process.
- Get Organized! Your lawyer will likely need certain financial information and documentation. Many things about the financial settlement arrangements are simply a financial transaction of accounting for the money, assets, debts and expenses and then making appropriate arrangements based on the numbers. Help your lawyer out by presenting an organized, well-documented picture of your financial assets, debts and resources. If important documentation or records are missing, proactively order or obtain copies. This will eliminate the need to discuss with your divorce lawyer the missing items, how to address the lack of documentation and the potential steps he or she may have to take to try to replace or obtain alternative documentation.
- Use Email Primarily for Communication. While a knowledgeable divorce attorney will be able to help you decide when you have so many (or such complicated questions) that you need to have a phone or in-office conference, many communications can be taken care of over email. An added bonus/benefit to written/email communication is that if you want to go back and re-read information provided by your lawyer, you can read it later at no additional charge. Frequently, unless they are well planned and organized, phone calls or office meetings can end up taking more time to communicate and answer questions than simple, focused emails with inquiries.
- Divide your personal property in advance: Do not incur costs and expenses with your lawyer in discussing a strategy to divide personal property. You and your former spouse should be able to communicate and divide things either by agreement or through a rotating selection process without the necessity of involving lawyers on these items.
Finally, seek out a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney who is familiar with the expectations of the judge that your case is likely to be in front of. When an attorney has many years of family law litigation under his or her belt, he or she will have found many methods to expedite the process and reduce costs for clients. For example, at Pingel Family Law, we provide clients with educational handouts to try to proactively answer many questions, without you incurring the cost of raising and asking the questions. Put our knowledge and experience to work for you today to find out how working with our firm and team can reduce your legal expenses. Call today at (816) 208-8130 to schedule your case consultation and evaluation.