Getting divorced needn’t bankrupt you, but it’s important to consider the various expenses involved in a separation before you file for divorce so that you can budget appropriately. You may find you need to dip into savings, borrow money or set up a temporary maintenance arrangement to cover the costs of your separation, so you need to know exactly what you’re likely to spend in the course of your divorce process. The best way to do this is to choose a solicitor who offers fixed fee legal services for each stage of your separation, according to your individual needs. This way, you know how much and when you need to pay, and can look ahead without the fear of unexpected bills looming over your head.
The total cost of your divorce can be broken down into several categories: solicitor fees, legal costs relating to the process of separation you choose (for example court fees and the creation of the appropriate legal documents), and the knock-on effect on your daily living costs (travel, rent, maintenance payments etc). It’s worth sitting down with your divorce lawyer to make an estimation of your overall costs so that you can organise your funds well in advance.
So, how can you save money on your divorce?
- Avoid court costs – if you and your spouse or civil partner are able to come to an amicable agreement about the logistics and financial aspects of your separation, you may not need to go to court at all. There are several alternatives to court, including arbitration, mediation, and collaborative family law, which remove fees for the court process from your divorce.
- Make use of free legal advice services before you embark on a separation so that you are as informed as possible about your options. Your solicitor may offer some initial guidance and advice for free, or there are plenty of resources online to help you, too.
- Work together with your partner, wherever possible. Of course divorce is never easy, and often isn’t particularly pleasant, but the more you can agree between yourselves, the quicker and cheaper it will be – especially if there are children or property involved. Having a solicitor negotiate on your behalf will be more expensive than simply hiring your lawyer to draw up legal documents, but how much help you need will obviously depend on your circumstances.
- Don’t forget about living costs – if one of you move out of the family home, there will be additional costs to cover, such as rent or mortgage payments and extra travel. There may also be child maintenance to pay, or your health and work could be affected, creating extra costs. When you budget for your separation, always factor in your daily living costs so that you’re not caught short at an already stressful time.
- Make sensible choices regarding financial decisions – if a couple are in agreement about their separation and one party is unable to cover their legal costs, sometimes couples decide that it makes sense for the better-off partner to cover the cost of separation. This is obviously something that needs to be discussed as a couple, but can often help the entire process run more smoothly.
- Choose fixed legal fees – the majority of divorce solicitors charge on an hourly basis, but sometimes it can be difficult to anticipate complications or delays in your case and you may end up paying more than you can afford – or are forced to forego your legal advice and attempt to navigate part of your divorce by yourself. Obviously neither of these situations is ideal, which is why at Frances Lindsay & Co we decided to offer fixed fee services for divorce, mediation, arbitration, collaborative family law, and any other related legal services associated with your separation.
If you need help working out the potential cost of a divorce, or want to know more about the different options available to you, please get in touch with our experienced team of divorce lawyers at Frances Lindsay & Co.Beaconsfield solicitor, Berkshire divorce solicitors, collaborative family law, divorce, divorce advice, divorce solicitor, divorce solicitor Beaconsfield, divorce solicitor Berkshire, Maidenhead solicitor