Divorce is not cheap, but it can be managed. Here are my tips for how to save money and get a good outcome.
Get your ducks in a row.
Research the process, and get your head around what it means to get divorced. The unknown is always much worse. You need to know what you are dealing with and mentally prepare.
Create a budget.
Approach your divorce like you are moving house and budget accordingly – plan for each element of the process and hire the right professionals to handle each part ( more on that later).
Get the right emotional support.
Do not underestimate the impact your divorce will have on you. You will need to make important decisions that will affect you and your children's future. The key to your success is having the right emotional support. Your friends and family have a role to play but they are not objective and their love for you and their opinion of your situation will cloud their judgement, which can stoke the fire rather than put it out. Getting professional support may seem like a luxury but it is fundamental to making sure you make good decisions that save you money and time in the long run.
Find the right solicitor.
Choosing the right solicitor is key, and finding out how they work, what other professionals they work with and their fee structure are all important questions to ask. Solicitors will often give you a free consultation, so don’t be afraid to shop around.
Get the right team.
Lawyering up and using them for everything is the most costly way to divorce. Solicitors charge in 6 minute increments, every time they speak to you on the phone, read, write or send an email you are paying. You cannot get divorced without a solicitor they are fundamental in the process, however, if you start using them as your go-to for everything or to communicate with your ex it is going to cost you dearly.
Instead, bring in the right team of experts to guide you through each part of the process. Additional to your solicitor and divorce coach you may also need to consult a financial advisor, tax advisor/pension advisor. Your solicitor may even have a team they can recommend.
Having the right people for the right role will save you time and money and make sure you are receiving the best advice to make good decisions for you and your family.
Ultimately, you both want the same thing – to leave with as much as possible and your dignity intact. And if you have children you want them to come out unscathed and to still be a family in the future. There is also only one pot of money from which to divide once all legal costs have been settled, therefore it is in everyone’s interests to work together and keep the costs down.
The best thing you can do to avoid high costs is to keep out of court. It is by far the worst option, not only financially but emotionally. The courts are overwhelmed, the wait is long and the costs can quickly escalate. If you want to stay in control of your divorce avoid going to court.
Choose the right process for you.
This is your divorce you can choose how you navigate, there are a lot of options available including mediation, arbitration, sharing a solicitor or working with collaborative lawyers. Find the right option for you, and often you can agree on costs upfront. So it can be cost-effective too.
Any delay tactics, hiding information or withholding information adds more time and cost to the process which is coming out of one pot – remember.
Think from their perspective.
With every divorce comes compromise and negotiation. Try seeing the other person's perspective: what is important to them that perhaps isn’t as important to you? Where can you compromise and negotiate to enable both of you to get to a settlement quicker? Also, what are your priorities and what can you let go of?
If you follow these tips you should have the beginnings of a successful divorce, I wish you well. But if you have any questions, do reach out.
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We're constantly being told that divorce is traumatic, stressful, expensive, and painful. But what if there is another way?