January is one of the busiest divorce months of the year. Many divorce attorneys say that when the lights come down, their phones light up like Christmas trees. Why? Because so many couples muscle through the holidays for the sake of their kids or families.
Regardless of when you file, divorce can get expensive. After the split, both parties are regaining their financial footing as they live under two separate roofs. If they don't play their cards right, their divorce can end up costing thousands more than it should.
To save yourself a fortune during this ordeal, consider these tactics to drive down the costs of your divorce:
1. Hire a divorce attorney who is also a mediator.
Consider hiring a divorce lawyer who is also a mediator. A mediated divorce is a lot cheaper than a litigated divorce, and it usually costs less than a negotiated divorce where both spouses hire their own attorney.
With a mediated divorce, you hire one attorney who acts as a neutral third-party negotiator who helps the couple work through their split amicably. Another option is a collaborative divorce where both parties hire their own attorneys, but agree to reach a fair and reasonable agreement.
2. Call your therapist instead of your lawyer.
If you call your attorney every time you get in a fight with your ex, you'll waste money in legal fees. You hired your lawyer to handle the legal aspects of the case, not to be a counselor. When your therapist accepts your $30 co-pay vs. your attorney's hourly rate, it's a no brainer.
3. Treat the divorce like a business transaction.
You need to treat your divorce like a business transaction. If you get hung up on minor details, or if you want to get revenge, you'll only drive up your legal fees. You need to make smart business decisions during this time, you don't want to make emotional decisions that will only cost you thousands.
4. Redecorate and move on.
Instead of wasting money bickering over who gets the old couch (the one the dog slept on and the cat scratched up), or who should get the wedding china, see this as your opportunity to redecorate.
Spring for that awesome couch you've always wanted instead of spending thousands fighting over old stuff.
It comes down to basic math: for what you end up paying your lawyer to sort out the mess, you could be redecorating your house and making yourself much happier with the new furnishings.
For more saving money tips, contact Claery & Hammond, LLPfor a free consultation!