Educating yourself on your rights and what to expect from the divorce process can help you save money. The more you know about the process the easier it will be to work with your attorney or mediator to reach a divorce agreement.
Understanding the process will allow you to do some of the legwork that you might otherwise pay your attorney to do. Taking a hands-on-approach that is coordinated with your divorce lawyer can make sure you are doing everything you can to secure the best outcome for your case. Additionally, by educating yourself you will better understand what your attorney is doing and why.
It is important that you work with your attorney to make sure the crucial steps are completed at the right time— otherwise you run the risk of undermining the work your lawyer has done and potentially create additional work that could cost you more money.
Being organized is an essential part of streamlining the divorce process and will save you money and stress. It is an expensive proposition to have your attorney organize your documents. Arranging information, documents, and files in a way that helps your attorney understand your situation and the facts of your case will save you money.
Don’t spend money to have your attorney do work that you can do yourself. Refrain from having your attorney gather financial documents or information from your ex-wife if you already have access to that information. If you don’t have the time or the patience to organize your documents and information, consider hiring a temporary personal assistant. A personal assistant will cost anywhere between $30 and $50 an hour—significantly cheaper than paying your attorney to do the same work.
To protect your assets and work as efficiently as possible, you need to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. By giving your attorney all the information up front, they will be able to chart the best course of action to protect your assets.
Clients that withhold information can inadvertently undermine their case. Your attorney is there to help you and failing to share information can impair their ability to protect your rights.
Pick your battles
Be realistic about what you aren’t willing to compromise. Too often couples will spend $600 in attorney’s fees fighting over an item that could be replaced new for $300. Men who have a clear idea of what they are willing to concede and what isn’t negotiable will often fare better than men who try and fight for everything.
That being said, a divorce is no time to be a pushover. The decisions made now can impact your life for many years, and some things like spousal support are very difficult to change once the divorce is final. Being strategic now can save you money and headaches down the road.
Don’t use your attorney as a therapist
Given the highly personal nature of divorce, your attorney will probably know more about you than some of your close friends —this will occasionally cause some men to use their lawyer as a therapist. While your attorney should be empathetic, it is not in your best interest seek emotional support from your lawyer.
Working with a psychologist, therapist, or counselor can be an important part of recovering from divorce. A mental health professional will have the tools and resources to properly help you through the emotional upheaval that comes with divorce.