April 2, 2014

Saving Money When Filing For Divorce

It is no secret that filing for divorce can be an emotionally draining, and extremely difficult process. When dealing with a divorce, it is not uncommon for the parties involved to overlook the mounting financial expenses incurred during the proceedings. The Canadian Lawyer’s 2013 legal fees survey showed that the average cost of an uncontested divorce ranges from $801 to $1,608. Meanwhile, the average range of a contested divorce cost between $5,743 to $33,881! The fees included in the survey did not include expenses associated with child or spousal support payments.

If you are considering filing for divorce, or have already begun the separation period, you need to be aware of the fact that divorces can be extremely expensive. Lawyer fees, spousal support, child support and expenses associated with the division of a household can add a significant amount of stress to an already daunting experience. Many of the expenses associated with divorce proceedings are unavoidable, but there are several things you can do to prevent unnecessary spending during a divorce.

Five Things You Can Do To Reduce the Costs of a Divorce

1. Keep it amicable.
This does not mean that you have to ‘like’ each other. The reality of divorce is that feelings of anger or resentment are a common factor during the breakup of a marriage. Regardless of whether or not these feelings are justified, the bottom line is that negative emotions will end up costing you a lot of money. When filing for divorce, it is important to remember that you are now in the midst of a very important business transaction. Now is not the time to address marital issues.

2. Be aware of your financial present and plan for the future.
Women are typically more attached to the family home, and tend to leave liquid assets to their former partners. While this arrangement is usually mutually-beneficial for both parties involved, it can leave you “house rich, cash poor” in the event of a divorce. It is important that you fully understand your finances as you enter into the next phase of your life. Create a budget, and meet with a financial advisor to create a financial plan for your future.

3. Be mindful of your interactions with your lawyer.
Many people make the mistake of having their lawyers on speed dial. A dedicated divorce lawyer will respond to all of your questions or concerns, because that is what they’ve been hired to do. The key thing to remember is just that –you hired them. This means that every phone call, meeting, email or text message will be added to your final bill.
4. Consider mediation.
The number one rule: You want to save money? Keep it out of the courts. A neutral mediator can help you and your former spouse come to an agreement.

5. Find a collaborative lawyer.
In a collaborative divorce, both parties and their respective lawyers sign an agreement that requires both lawyers to drop the case in the event that a settlement cannot be reached. The caveat to this is that if you cannot work out the terms of your divorce, you have to start over with new lawyers –which will add to the costs.

Divorce Lawyers Serving Edmonton Alberta

Divorce proceedings can be emotionally exhausting and extremely daunting for everyone involved. The compassionate and dedicated divorce lawyers at Slaferek Callihoo can guide you through this complex process, and are committed to helping you start the next phase of your life.