Amongst all the anxiety and stress that divorce can bring, one of the biggest fears is how much the actual divorce process is going to cost us. We may have been able to negotiate an amicable settlement with our soon to be ex partner and this may have avoided the use of a solicitor but for many, using a solicitor may seem like the only option available. Here are some hints and tips at helping you to keep your legal fees to a reasonable level.
1. Educate yourself.
Learn as much as you can about divorce and all related issues. The more you know, the less money you’ll spend paying solicitors to educate you or get you out of the mess you unknowingly created.
Research the divorce laws in a general way, enough to get you past some of the complicate language that might be used, whether through a local law library or the internet. Educating yourself with information will dramatically improve your effectiveness and efficiency in interacting with your solicitor and negotiating with your spouse.
2. DO NOT LITIGATE.
If you want to keep your money instead of giving it to a solicitor go to court only as a last resort, only if all else fails. Try negotiation, try mediation, try collaborative divorce, try settlement conferences but do not litigate.
You may win at court but at what cost? Litigation is destructive, expensive and gut wrenching. Litigate only if you have no other option. Litigation is, unfortunately, necessary in some cases. There will always be people that just can not agree no matter how hard you try. Reserve litigation for the most desperate situations.
3. Use a Divorce Coach
Having a different source of information or an outlet for you to discuss issues with, will mean that you do not have to turn to your solicitor for every query that you may have, this in turn reduces your legal costs. Many solicitors have admitted that they have actively encouraged their clients to seek help from a Divorce Coach as they often find that clients are giving them emotional responses to the questions they pose as opposed to factual ones and that also that clients unneccesarily increase legal fees by bringing in emotion into legal disputes. Solicitors are there to help you with your legal case and to try to get you the best outcome for you but they are not your sounding board. A Divorce Coach gives you the space to be able to talk things through with a neutral party, to discuss solicitors' letters but also discuss those aspects of divorce that your Solicitor doesn't deal with. In the long run being better prepared to answer the questions that your solicitors asks or providing your solicitor with the information they require rather than bombard them with emotional responses, cuts your legal fees dramatically.
4.Consider a Collaborative Divorce.
If you and your spouse want the benefit of legal expertise without the threat of a court battle or the expense of drawn out negotiations between attorneys, consider this cooperative approach to ending a marriage. Creative problem solving helps couples resolve issues so that everyone gets more of want they want, with lower legal fees.
5.Make a list of all the things you and your spouse agree on first.
By getting these things covered first you may be able to save money by only working with a paid professional to resolve the areas of disagreement. Plus, maybe you’ll realise that you agree on all the major issues and the others aren’t worth fighting over. Getting this base will help you get much further along without having incurred any costs and will help your divorce process in the long run.
If you require the space to discuss your divorce or need a sounding board to investigate any aspect of your divorce process, contact Your Divorce Coach.