How do I prepare for divorce financially?
Aside from the emotional gut punch that a divorce can bring, the financial burden is often one of the scariest parts for most people. We get asked all the time for advice about how to best prepare for a divorce financially. While there is no cut-and-dry solution for making the divorce process affordable, there are things you can do to help ease the financial strain.
The Bad News: Divorce is expensive
The unfortunate truth is, few people can truly afford the divorce process. By nature, it almost always comes at the absolute worst time, financially and otherwise. Most divorcing couples find themselves trying to pay for their legal expenses while simultaneously assuming the new costs of running two households – two mortgages or rent payments to make, increased childcare expenses, etc.
To state the obvious, you need to have as much money in the bank as you can to finance your divorce. It also helps to have family and/or friends in your corner who are willing to help you out financially, if needed.
The Good News: There Are Ways to Minimize the Costs of a Divorce
The good news is that while few divorces are “cheap,” divorce doesn’t have to be terribly expensive. One of the best ways you can prepare for divorce financially is to come up with a game plan to minimize expenses, as much as possible.
There are things you can do to keep expenses down. If all four participants in the divorce – you, your spouse, your lawyer, and your spouse’s lawyer – conduct themselves reasonably, communicate effectively, and are willing to work together to reach agreement, there is no reason your divorce needs to cost an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, reasonable behavior is not always the norm in the divorce process.
4 Practical Tips to Help Prepare for Divorce Financially
Often, parties fight over issues that are insignificant – even meaningless – out of principle and spite. Expenses are incurred needlessly, and the expense of divorce becomes much larger than it needed to be. Even couples that go into the process expecting an amicable divorce often find themselves in the middle of a contentious one instead.
The best thing you can do to financially prepare for a divorce is to plan for the worst, but hope for the best. Here are a few practical tips:
- Find a divorce lawyer who encourages couples to work together. Avoid divorce attorneys with huge egos, or those who favor “fighting it out” in court. When lawyers play nice, their clients usually come out ahead. Click here for four factors to consider when choosing a divorce lawyer in Maryland.
- Where available, utilize mediation as a tool to help you and your spouse reach agreement outside of the courtroom.
- Cut expenses in other areas of your life as much as possible. Now is probably not the best time (financially speaking, at least) to treat yourself to a lavish vacation, or fancy new sports car.
- Keep your “eyes on the prize” and stay focused on reaching agreement. If you and your spouse communicate reasonably well and can at least conceptually come to terms on the key issues (property division, child custody, child support, alimony, etc.), the lawyers can typically work out the details.
Contact Experienced Divorce Attorney Fred L. Coover
As mentioned above, one of the most important things you can do to minimize the expense of a divorce is to find a divorce lawyer who shares your goals. We recommend scheduling initial consultations with a few different divorce attorneys, to be able to compare and choose the one that feels like the best fit for you and your unique situation.
Experienced Maryland divorce lawyer Fred L. Coover has been serving families in Howard County and beyond for nearly 35 years. Call us today at (410) 995-1100 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to serving you!