Divorce Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive: Methods to Keep Divorce Costs Down
Divorce can be an extremely emotionally and financially pressing process for all parties involved. Fortunately, couples aren’t limited to litigation. There are other methods to keep the associated divorce costs down so that parties may focus on what’s important – their families and themselves.
If both parties agree on the main elements of their divorce, it can be to their benefit. In an uncontested divorce, costs can be cut by avoiding litigation and formal discovery which are often extremely costly. If the divorcing spouses agree to all aspects of their split, it is also not always necessary to hire a lawyer. While this may be the best financial decision for some, a lawyer will ensure the process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
It is typically beneficial if there is an open line of communication between spouses, for spouses to try to speak to each other to see if any agreements may be reached rather than litigating every issue down to allocation of furniture.
Mediation is another option that can help keep the costs of the divorce process fairly reasonable. In mediation, parties negotiate and agree on terms of their divorce with a neutral third-party known as the mediator. The mediator will help the parties address and identify their respective needs and interests and will negotiate an agreement to address them. A successful mediation eliminates the need for extensive litigation – a slow and expensive process.
While there are still costs associated with mediation, overall, this method can be less expensive than litigation.
“Discovery” is the process where parties issue formal requests to ask for typically three years of past account statements, paystubs and other documents relevant to the pending divorce litigation. While parties as part of a divorce process are initially required to complete a “Financial Affidavit,” where they disclose their respective income, expenses, assets and liabilities, formal discovery is the additional step to seek further documents. By tailoring your requests to receive what is necessary to gain a full financial picture or to reach agreements to voluntarily exchange this information, parties can save a substantial amount on costs.
Kogut & Wilson attorneys are experienced in all divorce methods and can help you make the right decisions when it comes to handling your divorce. Contact us today.