Divorce is not cheap. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that most people recognize as an unavoidable fact of life that divorce can be expensive. But for those of you who don’t have an unlimited budget, there are a number of ways that you can cut down on the final figure by making smart choices and planning ahead. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind. They may save you a buck or two.
Your attorney is not a therapist
If you are having a hard time with your divorce, you should definitely seek the counsel of a professional. However, that professional should not be your attorney. Not only are attorneys not trained to provide emotional advice, they are usually much more expensive than therapists.
Remember that your attorney is going to bill you for time they spend talking to you on the phone, along with time that they spend meeting with you, or doing paperwork on your behalf. As a result, if you call your attorney to talk about what a rat your soon-to-be-ex is, or how hard the divorce is for you, you are going to pay for it later. Literally.
Don’t buy things for your children out of guilt
Parents who are getting divorced often feel very guilty about the impact that their divorce is having on the children. As a result, they often try to compensate for the pain they think they are causing their children by spending more money on them. Extra toys. Eating out more often. Trips to amusement parks. Expensive things.
We aren’t suggesting for a moment that you shouldn’t spend time doing things with your children, or that gifts are inappropriate. But trying to “buy” their forgiveness is a ploy that is doomed to fail. Not only will they see right through your intentions, but it will only make your divorce that much more costly. Quality time and your undivided attention, which don’t cost anything, are what children need most during this difficult time.
Only deal with your attorney when you have to
Like a taxi cab waiting on the curb, your attorney’s meter is constantly running. So the best way to ensure that you don’t waste any money is to be succinct, direct and efficient when you are talking to them. If your attorney sends you a list of documents they need, get all of them together and send them at the same time. Every time they have to call you to remind you to send them, or to let you know that something is missing, it will cost you more money.
Also, keep a notepad somewhere nearby where you can jot down questions that you have for your attorney. That way, you can ask them all at the same time when you next speak to them, as opposed to calling every few days to ask about something.
Join us next time as we address the next three items on the list of money saving divorce tips.