Since getting a divorce brings enormous amounts of stress, you'll want to do whatever you can anxieties at bay. However, paying for legal aid and splitting the assets doesn't have to cause financial stress. Here are some tips to help you save money during your divorce.
Use Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR)
If you and your soon-to-be ex can communicate amicably, you may want to look into ADR. ADR is great because you may be able to negotiate and reach decisions without going to court. Since going to court can be drawn out and expensive, you'll want to avoid that option if you can.
There are different styles of resolution that you can try. For instance, some couples use a mediator to help process, while other couples may have their lawyers present at a meeting to discuss decisions.
Try Filing for Divorce Online
Many states now allow people to file online; of course, you'll have to check your state's laws to see if this is an option. Also filing online is typically for uncontested divorces. If you can't come to an agreement with asset division, child support, spousal support, etc., then this is not a viable route—ADR may be better.
Filing for divorce online can help save you money since you, again, don't need to go to the courts. The online documents are also customized to your state and other factors, so you may save money you may have otherwise spent on meeting with your lawyer for help. Of course, this service is not free, there is a processing fee for the papers to go to the clerk's office.
Lay All the Finances Out for the Lawyers
If you aren't willing to lay out all of your debts and assets to the attorneys, then you will have to pay your time and money for a formal discovery. During a formal discovery, your lawyer will request certain financial documents, and you'll have to answer questions from your spouse's lawyer. Instead of having you and your spouse try to appraise the value of items separately, such as your home, appraise these items together to save money.
Get Your Personal Finances in Order
It can be hard to break away from a joint account, but it's important that you start opening accounts in your name only. Even if you are on good terms with your soon-to-be ex, keep an eye on your old accounts and credit. If you spouse takes out cash from a joint account, it can be impossible to recover. Some vindictive spouses run up credit card debts in joint accounts, so again, watch any of these accounts as well for strange activity.
Contact a local law firm for more information on getting through a divorce.