In the previous article we talked about the fact that divorce is expensive, and discussed a few ways that you can make smart, proactive choices that may save you money in the long run. Moving on, here are the next three items on the list…
Deal with personal items on a personal basis
Some people’s divorces are so contentious, so fraught with anger resentment, that they can’t exchange two words without it devolving into a verbal battle. But for the majority of divorcing couples, while they may be struggling with each other, they can still have basic exchanges without wanting to throttle each other.
So when it’s time to figure out who gets Aunt Cindy’s old lamp, the wedding china, or Grandma Harrison’s antique platter collection, try to figure it out between yourselves. Involving your attorneys means that you are probably going to pay thousands just to decide who gets what, which isn’t necessary if you are able work it out between yourselves.
Be honest with your attorney
Your attorney is bound by the attorney-client relationship, which means that they cannot divulge any of the details you share with them. That alone should be enough incentive to be honest with them. But if it isn’t, think about this – being dishonest or hiding information can cost you even more money in the long run.
If partway through the proceedings, your attorney discovers information that could affect the outcome of your divorce, it leaves them scrambling which takes a lot of time. The same goes for not disclosing all of your debts or assets, or hiding relevant documentation or assets from your spouse and not sharing that fact with your attorney. Any time your attorney has to put in extra hours to backtrack, or cover new material that they should have known about from the beginning, that extra time is going to increase your costs.
Don’t hope that your spouse will pick up the bill
Some spouses ring up enormous attorney’s fees on the grounds that they expect their spouses to pick up the tab. For some, it’s a way to get revenge. But ringing up a huge tab in the hopes that you can ‘stick it’ to your soon-to-be-ex, is unlikely to endear you to the court, and might backfire horribly on you. Always budget to cover the cost yourself.
It wouldn’t be the first time in history that someone called their attorney daily to have lengthy discussions, or insisted that they meet for working lunches once a week, all in the hopes of presenting their ex with an enormous bill at the end. But the court often refuses to reassign the bill, and many people have ended up stuck with hundreds of thousands in attorney’s fees. So while you may get lucky and have your ex pay your divorce bill, it’s probably safest to assume right from the get-go that you’ll have to pay for it yourself, and then keep it as reasonable as possible.
We hope that this has helped to give you a few ideas about ways that you can save a little cash during your divorce. After all, divorce isn’t cheap, and life after divorce can be very stressful, so you are going to need as many resources as possible at your disposal.
At Kronzek & Cronkright, we realize that our clients don’t necessarily have endless resources to pay for attorney fees. We do our best to be respectful of your resources and use our time in your best interests.