Unfortunately, there’s really no such thing as a cheap divorce. And before you ask, even a quick divorce is going to take quite a while! But although most people find that getting divorced costs a lot of time and money, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have any control over how much it costs you.
When it comes to divorce, the biggest expenses are almost always legal costs, so knowing how to keep these fees under control can save you a lot of money… and it just might save you some time as well!
It’s widely accepted that one of the most stressful experiences in life is dealing with the complications of a divorce. Advice is one of the most important things you can have at this stage – but it’s vitally important that you make sure you’re getting good advice, especially when it comes to the legalities of divorce.
When you start searching for a solicitor, it’s a good idea to compile a list of questions you can ask them so that you can find out how they’re going to handle your divorce. Questions relating to the amount of experience they have in family law, how heavy their current caseload is, and how they bill for their services will all help you to work out whether you’ll be getting the best value for money and the best person for the job.
Once you’ve chosen your solicitor, it’s important to create a game plan so you can be sure that you’re going to get the most value out of the time you spend with them. It’s only natural that you’ll have a lot of divorce questions, but you need to remember that you’ll be charged for everything your solicitor does for you and every minute you spend with them, so go through your questions and see if you can find any of the answers from another reputable source (like the Family Law Court website, for example).
The next way to save on legal fees is by being prepared – a legal case requires a lot of paperwork and there are many documents that your solicitor is going to need copies of. Find out what they’re going to need, and make sure that you have copies of everything – and that you’ve got them all well organised in a folder – before you see them. Having everything on hand can make for a more productive appointment, and can prevent you from wasting time by having to make another one just because you forgot to bring something with you.
It’s also worth thinking about bringing a buddy along. Your solicitor will have a lot to tell you and it can be hard to keep up, especially if you’re anxious, angry or upset, so having a friend there to take notes about all of the important details can be a big help.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, try to stick to the facts of your case when talking to your solicitor! It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘story’ when you’re explaining what’s happening, but the only thing that your solicitor can help you with is the facts.
This is another good reason for bringing a buddy – they can bring you back on track if you start getting distracted and if you really need to vent, they can lend a sympathetic ear on the way home. As hard as it can be to take the emotion out of your situation, it really does help if you can do just that when you’re with your solicitor, because staying calm will help you to give them the information they need to be able to help you.
Getting the right divorce and separation advice is an important part of making it through the divorce process with as little stress as possible, and no matter how amicable your divorce seems, you’re almost certainly going to need to get legal advice at some point. By choosing a solicitor who has experience in family law, and making sure that you make the absolute most of every minute you spend with them, you should be able to keep your legal costs as low as possible.
So while a cheap divorce might still be a myth, there are things you can do to make sure that yours doesn’t cost you any more than it absolutely has to!