You have realized that traditional divorces are expensive, especially with an average attorney's rate ranging from $150 - $300 an hour. Here are some practical tips on how you can save money during a divorce.
Start with buying yourself a three-ring binder, tabs and pocket folders (make sure they have the holes punched in them for your binder). Your tabs will grow over time. To get you started think about financial accounts, property, taxes, loans, insurance, business, other assets, debts, children/grandparents (i.e., schedules), and pets. Leave a section for questions. Write them down as you think about them, you don't have to get the answers immediately. Your organized binder will be a great reference for when you are ready to negotiate the settlement agreement with your spouse. You will have everything in one place and won't be left worrying if you forgot something.
Do your homework
Figure out the value of your assets and debts. Start by looking at your credit report and create an assessment of your finances (you can get a free copy of your credit report online). For financial items often overlooked, click on the words overlooked finances. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets click on
hidden asset for more information. You want a clear picture of what your financial future will hold for you. Knowing exactly what you are dealing with can save you money when negotiating with your spouse for a settlement agreement.
Uncontested divorces are a cost-effective way of getting a divorce. Try to figure out how you and your spouse can have a mutually agreed upon divorce. If you can't find a common ground you can end up in a long drawn out court battle, costing both of you a considerable amount of money. Some people have spent more money on their divorce then on their wedding. The lawyers can end up with more of your money in a divorce then either you or your spouse in the end. Ask yourself if a constested divorce is worth it.
When you and your spouse are ready to negotiate a martial settlement agreement, you will most likely have several personal items to go through, anything from the toaster to pictures. If you and your spouse cannot agree on whom should get an item consider why you want it. Often the hardist part of letting go is because of an emotional attachment, not the financial value. Figure out how to get what you really want, see if you can use it to negotiate for something else.
Divorce is very emotional, but you don't want to enter a settlement agreement fully pumped up on emotions. You want to make the best financial decisions possible for your future. When the emotions have ran their course, you are going to be left with the reality of what you previously negotiated. Find ways to blow off steam: therapist, friends, spiritual advisor, exercise or even punching pillows before you talk to your spouse. Think of this as a business plan. Being emotionally savvy will save you money, possibly get you extra money and give you a more secure future. Try to take the emotions out of the property settlement negotiations. Think of it as business. It will only work if you both get something out of the agreement.
Once you have gotten your binder and done your homework, contact Attorney James Cairns for a free initial consultation at 888.863.9115. For an immediate free virtual consultation click on DIVORCE WIZARD. The Divorce Wizard will analyze and qualify your case for an online Pennsylvania divorce, calculate your legal fees, and file your case immediately. It's just like sitting in our office for a free consultation. Also, read our
client testimonials and
Avvo reviews to see what other clients think of our services.