Many couples stay married because they fear financial burdens during a divorce. In some cases, wives who are stay-at-home mothers might remain in an unhappy marriage because they have no money of their own.
If you are in this predicament, it can be stressful and emotionally exhausting to think of ways to save money. You might have anxiety about how to make ends meet or how to pay for credit. If financial problems are stopping you from ending an abusive marriage, you may want to seek in-depth advice from a lawyer or financial advisor.
This article will discuss eight great ways to save money in your divorce. You can even apply these tips before your annulment to help prepare you for your financial future.
- Save as much as you can before you get a divorce
If you can see that your marriage is going south, try to save beforehand. This will ensure a healthy nest egg for when you need it the most. Even if all you can save is $20 every two weeks or $600 a month, do so. From the day you decide you want out of your marriage, start saving whatever you can, whenever you can.
It will be easier to do if you make your own money. But if you don’t currently have a job, think of ways to make money on the side.
Learning to save money is an excellent skill to develop for your future. So start now.
- Set up a budget and reassess it each month
Having a budget before your divorce will help you save during your annulment. If you know what money comes in and where the money goes, it will help you see where you can cut down on expenses. Look at your budget each month, as you might have different expenses from one month to the next.
You could also start working out a budget for after the divorce to see how much it would cost to live independently. It can help you figure out a way to create extra income for any shortfalls you might experience.
You can also save money by cutting down on take-out or even entertainment for a few months. Put this money away for your annulment, or keep it for afterward.
- Understand your legal fees
If you have saved up and are ready to end your marriage, make sure you understand the legal fees involved. If you choose to hire a lawyer, ask them for a full breakdown of their fees.
Here are some questions that you can ask your divorce lawyer:
- What is your retainer fee?
- What is your hourly billing rate?
- If my case goes to the court, what will the extra fees be?
- Will I need to sign a contract stating the fee arrangements?
- How much do you charge for letters or emails that need to be sent to my spouse or me?
- Will I be kept updated on the retainer fee and when it has been used up?
You could also ask your lawyer if there is anything you can do to bring down the costs. For example, you could get all your supporting documentation, instead of asking your lawyer to do so.
The less time you spend with your lawyer, the cheaper your divorce will be.
- Don’t use a lawyer for the entire process
Some couples opt for a DIY divorce. This is when you find your divorce papers over the internet, serve your spouse, and handle the entire process on your own.
If you choose to do this, you could always have a lawyer read through your paperwork to make sure that it is correct. It will save you money, and can also help you to file your documents correctly. Your lawyer can make sure that you have not made any mistakes that you will regret later.
- Compare prices
Don’t choose the first lawyer you meet. Do your research and find someone who is affordable. Compare prices, as some lawyers might charge less per hour than others. Some might charge call-out fees, where others don’t.
By asking the right questions beforehand and doing the research, you will save money on your divorce.
- Choose online divorce
One of the best ways to save money is to get a divorce over the internet. Not only is it convenient, but it is affordable for most people. There are several companies like completecase.com, and many will be happy to help you with any questions that you might have.
Unfortunately, an online divorce is only suitable for couples who are seeking an uncontested divorce. If you have a complicated case, using a lawyer would be the wiser option, as they will explain the best way to go forward legally.
- Use paralegals or legal assistants if needed
Paralegals and legal assistants charge much lower rates, and in some cases, they might not even charge you at all. You can use a paralegal for questions about your court date, or if you need a copy of your pleading.
Besides saving money, you will also get a quicker response. Only contact your lawyer if you have any legal questions. Remember, your lawyer will charge you for their time, so be sure to ask everything that you need to in the first meeting, if possible.
- Make use of a mediator
Mediation is an affordable way to settle disputes out of court. If you and your spouse are struggling to agree, choose to use a mediator. On average, a mediator will cost $1500 in total.
Most couples settle their arguments within a few hours. Going to trial is a costly procedure that also takes time. If you would prefer a quick divorce, that is cheaper, use a mediator.
The bottom line
Yes, divorce can be costly, but there are many ways in which you can save money during this difficult time. With a little bit of planning, research, and financial self-control, you will be able to save enough money for your divorce. Besides, by practicing good financial habits now, you will learn how to save when you are single.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.