Getting a divorce is expensive. I'm sure you have heard horror stories. We all have. As a divorce lawyer, I can tell you that unfortunately, those stories come true more often than you'd like to think. However, there is good news: you can follow a few simple steps to save money during a divorce.
Manage Spending During Divorce Process
Reduce Attorney Fees
Yes, getting a divorce costs money – there is no way around that – but you do not have to spend an arm and a leg on lawyer fees. It might seem crazy for me, a divorce attorney, to encourage you to spend less with your lawyer, but that's exactly why I offer affordable, set pricing for 3 of the most common kinds of divorce.
If you are paying by the hour, reduce costs by preparing yourself before consulting with your lawyer. Just having your documents and questions in order will put you ahead of the curve.
Do Not Indulge in Emotional Shopping
Times of high stress and high emotion often lead people to binge shop. Some people are encouraged to spend all they can during the divorce, especially if they have access to joint bank accounts or credit cards. The reality is that spending sprees will leave you with less at the end and may come back to bite you when assets are being divvied up.
Fight for Your Assets (And Recognize That No One Wins)
Forget About Emotional Entitlement
Along with emotional spending, another strong emotional reaction during a divorce is emotional entitlement. Be careful not to give up too much when fighting for one prized possession. You can always buy new things.
You will both walk away feeling like you've lost something important
The reality of divorce is that it comes down to compromise, and you will both feel like you have lost something. You may want to fight for the iTunes collection that you painstakingly curated over the years, but if the collection is worth $400 and it costs you $1,000 in legal fees and compromises to fight for it, then it is time to walk away.
Do Not Leave Anything on the Table
While you need to know when to walk away from a costly fight over a possession, you also need to fight for your entire half. Assets and debts are equally shared in marriage. Sometimes one party will feel obligated to take less than their share during the divorce out of sympathy or guilt. While it might seem like the charitable thing to do in the short-term, in the long run, leaving money on the table often seems foolish.
Plan for Post-Divorce Costs
Assets with High Maintenance
If you got the house in the divorce, you may have won the biggest battle. However, maintaining a house comes with its own costs. As you consider your post-divorce life, do not forget to account for things like real estate taxes, insurance, and general home repair and maintenance. It adds up quickly.
Plan for Taxes
Consult an accountant or financial advisor if you have one about the tax implications of your divorce. You do not want to get hit with an unexpected, large bill from the IRS.
Going through a divorce is difficult enough without overspending on the process. Keep these tips in mind to help stay on track and on budget. If you need professional advice, contact my office to setup an initial consultation.