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How to Save Money on Your Divorce

When people think about “divorce”, the words that most often spring to mind are: “expensive”, “stressful” and “financially debilitating”. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are many tips on how to save money on your divorce.

Taking steps to uncouple two lives that may or may not include children and property is not a cheap endeavor. However there are things that you and your spouse can do to save money on your separation and divorce. Some suggestions:

Retain a lawyer, even if it is only to obtain Independent Legal Advice or to know your rights and obligations. Shockingly, it is not that uncommon for clients to engage a lawyer long after a separation because “years ago” they had come to an agreement with their spouse (either written or verbal) about some aspect of their separation and now that spouse is taking them to Court seeking to retroactively alter the agreement. Entering into a separation agreement that does not protect your rights can end up costing you money in court fees and as a result of any judgment rendered. Knowing your rights and obligations or obtaining legal advice at the beginning of this process can set you up to save money on legal battles later on because of a costly mistake made today.

Be prepared to disclose. Financial disclosure is one of the most important aspects of Family Law, especially where support and property issues are present. Be prepared to disclose your income information for at least the past three years, as well as your financial disclosure confirming the balances or values of your assets and debts as of the date of marriage (if possible), the date of separation and today’s date.

Be prepared to negotiate. There is rarely any “winning” in Family Law. Be prepared to be reasonable and willing to give a little here to get a little there. Do not spend $1,000.00 in legal fees arguing over something that costs $500.00. Sometimes you have to make a business decision: spending more to get what you are entitled to, or concede on a certain point so you don’t waste money and time. Of course, do not give in on the really important issues – there are many things for which you can take a firm position. If you cannot be strong on the important issues, hire a lawyer to represent your interests or wait until you are strong enough to advocate for yourself.

If you are interested in learning about and protecting your rights, please call Gelman & Associates to set up a personal consultation.

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