In the wake of a crippling economic recession, many Americans put their divorce plans on hold.
Our Birmingham divorce lawyers know that splitting up can be costly. But breaking up doesn't have to mean breaking the bank, if you are careful in your planning.
One thing you are not going to want to skimp on is the attorney. This could end up costing you dearly in the long run because this is the person who will be working to help you divide your current assets and finances and develop a plan for how such issues will be managed in the future.
We understand that this an emotionally wrenching experience, and we refuse to drag it out or make it go on any harder than it needs to be. Often, people think hiring an attorney will increase the animosity and tension, when often just the opposite is true. At the same time, we are fully committed to ensuring your interests and future are properly protected.
It's hard to give any singular estimate for the cost of a divorce, because it depends on so many variables. Generally, though, if there are children involved, and therefore child custody needs to be arranged, it's going to cost more. Similarly, the costs may be driven up by how hotly the details are contested. If you both agree on most everything, it can be a fairly straightforward process. But if you find yourself wrangling over a great number of the details, it's going to take more time and cost more to reach resolution.
In some cases, however, this is necessary because, again, the stakes can be quite high and we're talking about how well prepared you are going to be for the rest of your life. The mistake some people make is simply agreeing to whatever terms their spouse sets forth in an effort to simply get it over with. They find themselves months or years down the road wishing they would have fought a little harder and made it a little fairer. Divorce agreements can be altered, but it's very tough to do so. Better to have it done right the first time around.
You can expect that in addition to attorney's fees, you will have to contend with court costs, the loss of certain assets once they are split and potential credit issues if your spouse had problems with debt.
If you are extremely cash-strapped but still desperate for a split, here are some ways you might consider cutting down on the costs:
- Negotiate the terms amongst yourselves, and then have your lawyer review it. If you can work together on aspects such as these, you may find the process going a bit smoother.
- Consider a collaborate law divorce. This is an alternative to the traditional divorce court, and the idea is to avoid costly litigation. However, you still hire an attorney, and then you agree to abide by whatever terms are negotiated. This route is not for everyone, and should only be entered into after careful consideration. Talk to you lawyer about whether this option makes sense.
- Mediation. Understand this is not an alternative to a lawyer, and you will still need sound legal advice. However, an outside mediator might help you to both resolve some of the more contentious issues you're battling. Then whatever agreement you reach can be reviewed by your lawyer.
Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole can be reached at (866) 831-5292.
The Real Price Tag of Divorce: How to Break Up Without Going Broke, Feb. 8, 2011, By Stacey Bumpus, GoBankingRates.com