According to a recent survey, “money issues” are the third-leading cause of divorce in the United States and Canada, behind infidelity and basic incompatibility. Divorce can also significantly impact your financial situation, as you might be losing the financial contributions of your spouse to your household, you may have to find a new place to live, and much more.
It is natural to want to start your post-marriage life in the best possible position, so most people are looking to keep the costs of divorce as low as possible. However, the reality is that divorce can be expensive, as you and your spouse will need to pay filing fees, court costs, and more. There are several ways that you can keep the costs of divorce as low as possible to preserve your finances for your new path forward.
Finding an Attorney Who Understands the Divorce Process
You may think the best way to save money during a divorce is to not pay for an attorney. This can be a mistake, however, as finding a lawyer who understands the divorce process and laws in Missouri can often reduce costs.
First, the right lawyer will be able to evaluate your situation and advise you of your rights under the law, ensuring that you have reasonable expectations for the outcome of your case. This can help avoid unnecessary court battles and disputes. A lawyer can also ensure that you do not make any errors in your paperwork that result in costly delays and preventable court hearings. Finally, an experienced lawyer can advocate for your rights to ensure you receive a fair and favorable outcome, which can lead to a more positive financial future.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer Who is Focused on Settlement
Some law firms focus on being “aggressive divorce litigators.” While a dedicated litigator can be necessary in some cases, not every divorce case must go to court – in fact, far from it. If you and your spouse wish to keep costs and stress low, you should seek help from a lawyer who is focused on settlement and cooperation. This type of attorney will work to keep you out of court whenever possible, instead of threatening to take every issue before the judge. Minimizing court hearings and avoiding trial can substantially reduce the potential cost of a divorce case.
Engaging in Mediation
If you and your spouse both agree to keep expenses low and are willing to try to settle out of court, mediation can be a great option. Reaching an agreement in divorce mediation can cost much less than dragging negotiations on for months or requiring court intervention. The following are only some reasons why mediation can be a cost-effective manner of resolving a divorce case:
- Mediation directly addresses the specific issues to be resolved, wasting no time with unnecessary communications.
- In mediation, you and your spouse negotiate with one another instead of through your attorneys. Even though you should have an attorney advising you, they will not be spending hours going back-and-forth with your spouse’s attorney about small details or spending a day in court waiting on a judge. This can significantly reduce your attorney’s costs.
- Many spouses enter mediation with a willingness to compromise, but they still need to agree on the specific details of the compromise. This willingness often translates to reduced costs since they likely will not need to head into the courtroom.
Working with a competent St. Louis Mediation attorney will help divorcing spouses save not only money but also time and stress.
Reducing Conflict and Maximizing Cooperation
You have probably noticed a trend that cooperation and compromise can often lead to a less expensive divorce, while conflict can lead to a costly court battle. Even though emotions are running high between divorcing spouses, it is important to set those feelings aside and approach your case as practically as possible.
Fighting for more than your fair share out of vengeance will usually result in a deadlocked situation that requires the intervention of a judge. Instead, discuss realistic outcomes with your attorney, who should be honest with you about your rights. If your situation warrants shared custody of your child, fighting for sole custody will only drag the matter out and lead to unnecessary expenses. Having the right attitude to reduce conflict and maximize cooperation is one of the most effective ways to keep divorce costs low.
Contact a St. Louis Divorce and Mediation Attorney Today
At J. Rench Law Firm, LLC, we help clients find solutions for divorce-related issues while keeping the conflict – and costs – as minimal as possible. We regularly assist clients with efficient negotiations, mediation, and other methods of reaching a settlement when possible. If you are facing a divorce, you want a lawyer who understands and supports your priorities, such as reducing costs. Call 314-725-4000 or contact us online to speak with our St. Louis divorce lawyer about your options.