How Do I Save Money On Divorce Case?
Summary: Are you trying to save money on a divorce? A lot of people know what going through a divorce can be expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Divorce can cost you as little as around $1000 or as much as $20,000. This is for the average Canadian.
Are you trying to save money on a divorce? A lot of people know what going through a divorce can be expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Divorce can cost you as little as around $1000 or as much as $20,000. This is for the average Canadian.
Of course, higher net worth individuals can spend hundreds of thousands or millions on their divorces.
None of these costs include paying child or spousal support. Nor do they include any payments you must make to equalize the division of property.
In short, separation and divorce are expensive. And it’s not the lawyer’s fault.
Below are some ways that you can try and save money on your divorce case.
Save Money On Divorce
I am always surprised when someone calls a family lawyer to complain about their ex. They might want to talk about their feelings and get confirmation from the lawyer that their ex-spouse is a bad person. A psychologist might charge $125/hour and is trained in dealing with emotions.
An average law firm might charge $350/hour. A lawyer is not trained in emotions. They are trained in knowing the law, finding out the facts, and then applying the law to the facts. Basically, they put together a case in a way that a judge will understand.
So if you find naked pictures of someone on your ex’s phone, you can shoot a short email to your lawyer. Something like “Would proving my ex was cheating be helpful to my case? I found some pictures that prove it.” Your lawyer can tell you that you don’t need to prove fault for a divorce (most of the time.) However, you probably don’t want to call your lawyer and explain how you found the pictures.
I have been on the phone so many times with people that just want to vent. If you do that with your lawyer, it’s going to cost you thousands.
Try Mediation Or A Separation Agreement
If you are rich, you can go straight to court. But if you only want to spend a few thousand on your divorce fees, a separation agreement is your best chance. Let’s say you found those naked pictures of your ex’s phone. Before you ever confront your spouse, speak to a family lawyer. The lawyer should be able to draft a separation agreement for you.
You might sit down with your ex, say you saw the pictures, and want to separate. You can then present them with the separation agreement and tell them to get their own lawyer. This is the proper way to separate. No fighting, no abuse, and no police. Just a proper separation is done in a professional way.
Mediation is also an option. But it’s more expensive. This is because you have to hire a mediator. The mediator will help you work on the terms of the agreement. Once that is done, a lawyer will put together the separation agreement. Since there is an extra step, it’s more expensive. The further things go along in the litigation process, the more expensive it gets.
However, mediation is still far less expensive than fighting things out in court.
Don’t Try To “Win”
There might be winners and losers in business law. One company sues another company for $200,000. If the person who filed the lawsuit gets a judgment, they won. If not, they lost.
With family law, it’s not the same. You are trying to come to terms with your new life. How is the property going to be divided? How much child support is going to be paid? Where and when with the child live with who?
These are not things that you win. The judge is not going to rule that one parent gets everything for no reason. The judge cares first of all what is in the best interest of the child. Second, what is fair for both of the parents. The judge will often make a decision that neither party is truly happy about. They both wanted the house? Well, the house is going to be sold and each will get 50% of what’s leftover.
Save Money On Divorce
Neither party can agree on where the child should go to school? Sure, no problem. The judge will make a decision. People hate family law because you lose control over your life. Third-party people (court advisors and judges) are making decisions for your children. Basically, the courts see that you cannot handle your life. So, they are taking away your power to make decisions.
Does that feel good? Of course not. If you try to win, it’s going to cost you a fortune. And you will likely have little left to collect.
If you are paying a lawyer $350/hour, don’t have the lawyer fight for things of little value. If you are both fighting over a piece of art worth $1000, you probably just don’t want the other person to have it. But you might end up spending $3500 in order to get the art. You just lost $2500.
It’s much better to fight for what is most important to you. This hopefully will be your children. Many people are willing to fight to end for their children. I have no problem with this.
Try to take the high road. Recognize that it is unlikely that one party was 100% to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. Perhaps you could have done something better. Your spouse likely made some mistakes or didn’t treat you right. You are no longer going to be together. However, in order for you to achieve a fresh start, you need to deal with the separation first.
The sooner you can get all financial and personal issues sorted, the sooner you are free. Think about what you would do if you didn’t have to prepare for court. Imagine what you could do with the $10,000 that you didn’t spend on fighting with your ex?
Would you like to go on vacation? $10,000 gets you a very nice trip.
In conclusion, I encourage you to deal with your separation and divorce in the best way possible.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law
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