The breakdown of a marriage and subsequent divorce proceedings can be a stressful time and one or both of you may feel emotionally and financially vulnerable. In addition, there are legal fees to factor in; however, there are ways in which you can keep your legal costs down and conclude the divorce in an amicable way. Here are my 6 top tips for a smoother and cheaper divorce!
- Consider mediation to discuss finances and the care of the children. Instead of each paying a solicitor likely at a higher hourly rate than a mediator, you both share the costs of the mediator.
- Talk to each other. This is especially important where children are concerned and you rely on the other financially. If you only communicate through solicitors, then this can become extremely costly and lengthy.
- Try to keep your promises to your spouse. For example, if you are running late when picking up or dropping off the children, then let the other parent know. If you have agreed to pay a household bill, then pay it promptly or you may find that your spouse’s solicitor sends you a chaser letter, which ends up costing you both more in legal fees.
- Look after your emotional health. A breakdown of a relationship can be stressful and you may find yourself relying on friends and family for support. Consider also talking to an expert, such as a counsellor. Speaking to a counsellor is cheaper than a lawyer.
- Before you start divorce proceedings, send a copy of the draft petition to your spouse. If you agree the wording of the petition with your spouse beforehand then there is less chance of your spouse defending the divorce. You will save time and money.
- Consult a solicitor who is a member of Resolution. The solicitor should adopt a non-confrontational approach, which will save money and is less stressful.