Even when you and your spouse are reaching an amicable divorce arrangement without the need for outside intervention, the division of assets involves a complex settlement of your joined household that requires legal help to make sure it is shepherded through the system. When you have financial issues with the division that you cannot resolve on your own, it can get even more expensive, because both sides often choose to access lawyers to resolve the issue, and the resulting legal and court fees can mount quickly.
Streamlining divorce costs
There are a variety of ways to make sure you keep your legal costs down during a divorce, but many of them do require the cooperation of both parties to work out. The Huffington Post suggests the following:
- Choose your lawyer carefully, with an eye on the costs for billable hours.
- Try to reach as much of an agreement as possible with your spouse.
- Close all of your joint credit card accounts.
- Organize yourself by requesting lists of the information you should bring to each meeting, hearing, and other engagements related to the divorce and all court officers you will be dealing with, making sure you cover as much as possible during each meeting.
- Report your income accurately to avoid discrepancies.
Those five suggestions all help to keep both billable hours and billing costs per hour down, while also making sure you do not wind up on the hook for any of your soon-to-be ex's new debts. What they do not do is show you the alternative to litigation, which can be even less expensive.
Using mediation for a divorce
When you have a few items that you need help resolving to reach an agreement but your issues are not so contentious that you feel you need to have the court reach a decision on its own, mediation provides you with an alternative. It generally saves money, because mediation involves using a service that sidesteps the need the adversarial process and for a long and drawn-out process of hearings and motions.
Mediators are different from judges because they do not make decisions on behalf of the divorcing couple. Often, they are attorneys themselves. They guide the divorcing couple to a resolution that allows them to reach an agreement. Mediators do not necessarily work for every couple, but if you want to save money on your divorce and you believe you can reach an agreement about the settlement with some help, then it is worth looking into the option. The first step is to call a licensed mediator for more information about the process, including the ground rules for mediation in Texas.