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Spending Money to Save Money in Divorce

Aug 09, 2018

THE THREE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT, MAJOR EXPENSES IN DIVORCE -

If you’re thinking about getting divorced and don’t want to bankrupt your family, sometimes it makes sense to spend money to save it in the long run.

I get that.

I’ve looked at surveys about what lawyers charge (see my blog post on the average cost of divorce in Canada and Should You Call a Lawyer First?).

I wouldn’t want to spend $53,000 on legal fees and have my divorce drag on for more than 2 years to complete. I wouldn’t even want to spend over $12,000 for a collaborative divorce that takes 5 months to complete.

Because I know how I feel about this, and because I figured out how to divorce peacefully, spending money only when I needed to, I’ve put together my list of the top 3, critically important expenses in divorce that may save you money.

The three critically important, major expenses in divorce that may save you money are:

Court Costs

Accept that you have to go to court, and know that it doesn’t have to be a fight.

When you were married, your relationship was registered with the government. To change your relationship status, government needs to sign off. Government decided court is the format people must use to get divorced.

So if you want a divorce, you need to apply to court. In my province (Saskatchewan) charges around $300 in fees to process a divorce application and issue a divorce judgment and certificate. If you want to be divorced, you need to spend this money. It’s really not very much, so accept this expense as part of the process.

A Mediator

A mediator helps people in conflict communicate with each other. The role of the mediator is to facilitate the conversation, not to impose views or solutions on the parties. A mediator opens up communication, and gets you talking. This person can help you and your spouse set goals and rules for communicating. If you and your spouse can talk to each other, you won’t need to talk through lawyers. This expense will save you money and stress.

According to the survey results, you’ll take less time to resolve all the issues than you would if you worked with lawyers, even collaborative lawyers.

This is where The Gentle Way can help. I offer a free 20 minute “Drama-Free Divorce Consultation”. If this interests you, sign up here: https://www.thegentlewaydivorce.com/connect

A Lawyer / Attorney

Would you write a test without studying? Or bake a cake without a recipe? However, most of us would not hire someone to write the test for us, or hire someone to bake a cake we’re serving for Sunday dinner.

Take the same approach with lawyers in your divorce process. Use them wisely, as a resource to help you. For example, hire a lawyer to give you an opinion on what your legal rights and obligations are. This will help you understand any free or lost cost sources of information you have looked at. Ask the lawyer what you are likely to spend in legal fees if you fight about everything, or if it is low conflict.

With this information, you can assess your options.

You might decide to hire the lawyer to help you or to go to court for you, or you might not. Some lawyers will help you with specific tasks. This is how I used a lawyer.

I – yes, a lawyer hired a lawyer – to help me negotiate a separation agreement, and then to prepare the documents to apply for my divorce. By consulting a lawyer – on your terms, knowing what you need from the lawyer, you’ll have the information you need to make an informed decision. This will save you money.

The bonus major expense – consult other professionals

People experiencing divorce can be afraid to spend money. After all, your income will have to fund two households. This is scary. But spending money on professionals can help you and can reduce your expenses and stress.

For example, consider an appraiser. An appraiser has training and experience in valuing a specific type of property. I remember a case I worked on. Our side hired an accountant to value a business. The other side hired a certified business valuator. Guess who the court believed? The person with the better credentials! Had our client spent more money on credentials, she might have had more success in court.

So learn from this. If you own a house, spend the money to have it appraised by a certified appraiser, instead of asking a real estate agent to give you a ballpark value. If an appraiser does it, there is less to fight about. This will save money.

A financial planner can help you figure out how what you need to spend money on, and where you can cut expenses. This will save you a lot of stress.

Accept that you are going to have to spend money to get divorced. This is reality. At the same time, spend your money where it will benefit you and your family the most. By understanding the major expenses associated with divorce, you are in a positon to do this.

At the very least, consider working with a mediator with a background in law. Start with a consulting session to find out how to divorce peacefully, save money, and have the future you want.

Choose Peace.

Use Kim's "Divorce Script" to plan your words and tell your spouse you want a divorce.

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