The divorce process nearly always takes a little longer than you think, so realistic budgeting is very important. However, there are also other ways that you can save money during a divorce. Here are the top five from Liverpool divorce solicitor Tracey Miller Family Law:
1. Be organised
The more organised you can be when it comes to figures, paperwork and documents, the cheaper your divorce will be. The more you can do, the less your solicitor (who may charge by the hour) needs to do. Take the time to do your research online, or call up your solicitor to ask what they need, and prepare as much as possible yourself ahead of your next meeting. If you make your divorce lawyer’s life easier, it’ll be better for your bank balance.
2. Have all of your paperwork ready
This follows on from the first tip, but it’s important in its own right. If your solicitor asks for some documentation (i.e. a copy of the marriage certificate or some form of identification), don’t keep them waiting. If you can supply documentation promptly and fill in forms as soon as you’re asked, it can help to keep costs down.
3. Consider mediation
One of the biggest expenses in any divorce case is going to court. If you can avoid fighting it out in court, you’ll save yourself money as well as the stress and unpleasantness that comes with litigation. One way to avoid court is to go to mediation, where a professional mediator will help you and your ex agree on issues you’ve been unable to settle. If you can agree at the end of it, your divorce can proceed smoothly and quickly with as little extra expense as possible.
It is important to note that Tracey Miller Family Law does encourage mediation when necessary but usually not before voluntary disclosure is made during the normal financial process of a divorce.
This is because when this process is done before a client comes to us, we are not privy to the information and if mediation is carried out but is unsuccessful, in order for us to advise our clients properly we would need to start the whole process again, so there is a whole extra level of costs involved.
However, using mediation in the right order means that it can be very useful in averting a very costly court battle.
4. Pick your battles
The faster your divorce is, the cheaper it is likely to be. Separating couples rarely agree on everything, but one party digging in their heels about an issue can really slow things down. It’s important to pick your battles, compromising over the small things even if it’s frustrating for you – as it’ll mean a smaller legal bill at the end.
5. Choose the right solicitor
To make sure your divorce proceeds speedily and efficiently, you need a divorce solicitor with lots of experience and who understands your needs. They’ll offer a supportive, sympathetic service, but will gently remind you when discussion of emotional issues could be costing you money (through billable time). They’ll offer advice on when to compromise to speed things up, handle all legal proceedings efficiently and negotiate to get you the best deal, as well as giving you all the information about fees and costs so there are no nasty surprises.
Tracey Miller Family Law is a member of Resolution, the national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce.
Liverpool divorce solicitors Tracey Miller Family Law is committed to helping people find the quickest, least acrimonious and most economical way through a divorce. Please contact us to discuss your situation and to find out how we could save you money on your divorce.