One of the primary concerns many divorcing couples have involves the cost of the legal side of the divorce process. This is understandable, especially because the practical costs of divorce (including the division of a single household into two households) is inherently expensive. As a result, many couples wish to proactively keep their legally-related divorce costs low, but are unsure of how to do so. Thankfully, couples have a great deal of power over how expensive their divorce processes will ultimately become.
Keeping Divorce Process Costs “In Check”
Certainly, there are legal fees that couples have no control over associated with the divorce process. For example, each state requires that divorcing couples pay a filing fee that is non-negotiable. However, the extent of a couple’s legal fees beyond those that are non-negotiable are largely dependent on how each spouse chooses to approach the divorce process itself.
Practically speaking, traditional, contentious divorce processes that require significant judicial intervention are usually far more costly than collaborative approaches are. Why? It takes lawyers a great deal of time and resources to prepare for multiple trips to court and when lawyers spend time on a client’s case, they have to charge for the time they have spent working on that client’s behalf. By contrast, when spouses work with their attorneys (through mediation and/or attorney-led negotiation) to arrive at agreed-upon terms of a divorce settlement without significant judicial intervention, they tend to save a great deal of time and money. In a nutshell, working with your attorney and spouse to avoid courtroom “showdowns” is the surest way to keep your legal costs as low as they can be under the circumstances. But only you can truly know whether a collaborative approach is both possible and appropriate in your case.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about the divorce process generally and/or ways to keep your divorce process affordable specifically, please consider scheduling a consultation with a lawyer today. No two divorce processes ever progress in exactly the same way, so it is not often easy for attorneys to quote an exact figure when preparing a divorce case. However, an experienced law firm should be able to give you a good idea of what kinds of legal costs your divorce process may entail once they better understand the complexities of your situation. It may be helpful for you to think carefully about whether or not a less expensive, collaborative approach may work for you and your spouse before you arrive at your consultation. That way, your lawyer will be able to advise you of your options with your broader vision for your process in mind.