Going through a divorce can be an emotionally draining experience. Unfortunately, however, the emotional toll of a divorce can sometimes pale in comparison to the financial havoc that a divorce can wreck on your life. If you hire an attorney for your divorce, which any litigant should do if there is something at issue that you care about, whether that is your children, or your finances, then the costs of litigating a divorce can spiral out of control if you go in blindly. When going through a divorce, there are some basic rules of thumb that can assist you in trying to keep your head clear and your costs in check, so I have tried to break those down for you here in this month’s blog.
In my experiences handling divorce cases for the better part for a decade now, here are some of the best ways you can try keep your divorce costs under control during your divorce case:
1. Keep an Open Mind
The biggest mistake some people make when going through their divorce is sticking to their preconceived notions of how the case should turn out. Many times people will listen to tales of the divorce from other family members, neighbors, friends and work colleagues, but since every divorce is different, too many times other people’s experiences will not match yours. Since each situation is truly unique, it becomes important to keep an open mind about different ways in which you might be able to resolve your case that you may not have considered before. Being flexible and reasonable will contribute to you saving money in the long run, so try not to remain fixated on predetermined outcomes.
2. Leave Your Emotions at the Door
Divorces lead to a whirlwind of emotions, running the gamut from sad and depressed, to angry and eventually, hopefully, to a feeling of peacefulness. Getting to that level, however, can be challenging, particularly where the wounds from the relationship are still fresh. The more you can try to check your emotions, and think with your head, as opposed to your heart, the more likely you will be to come a reasonable resolution on your divorce.
3. Don’t Contribute to Unnecessary Litigation
During a divorce many deadlines will approach, and the better you can stick to these deadlines, the more you will save in attorney’s fees down the road. Divorce cases are document heavy, particularly when support is at issue, or when assets and liabilities must be divided, so throughout the course of your case, you will be required to provide a treasure trove of financial documents to your attorney. The best way to save yourself time and money is to respond to your attorney, timely provide all requested documents, and keep current on all outstanding deadlines.
4. Fully Engage in the Mediation Process
In the state of Florida, all domestic relations cases, including actions involving divorce and paternity, are required to participate in family mediation at least once during the pendency of the case. Mediation will offer the parties the opportunity to resolve the case outside of the courtroom in a more informal setting where the parties will have greater latitude to come with up creative resolutions to their case. Fully engaging in this process and being open to different types of resolutions will ultimately help in keeping your divorce costs down.
5. Your Attorney Matters
When choosing your attorney, it will become very important to conduct your due diligence on every attorney that you consider to handle your divorce case. You will want to gauge that attorney’s reputation for being a problem solver and getting cases resolved, as opposed to attorneys who simply want to litigate on every issue. In family court, not every issue should be litigated, so it will become important to find an attorney who can discern between the legal issues in your case that must truly be litigated, as the more issues that must be litigated, the more expensive the case will become.
Attorney Russell J. Frank is a partner at CPLS, P.A. and focuses his practice areas on family and marital law. He can be reached at at email@example.com.