Five Ways to Save Money When Getting a Divorce
In a previous post, we discussed how trying to handle your divorce on your own and without consulting an experienced Florida divorce attorney can end up costing you considerably more money in the long run. While representing yourself in divorce proceedings is not a smart option, there are some actions you can take that can help to expedite the process and reduce your costs:
- Accept the fact that a divorce is imminent.
When one of the spouses in a divorce refuses to accept that the marriage is over, it can lead them to take actions that delay the process and increase expenses. Not answering divorce pleadings and refusing to cooperate in the legal process are futile gestures.
While last minute attempts to reconcile are not uncommon, be aware that under the Florida divorce statutes, spending even one night with your spouse after the divorce process has begun will delay a final order. In addition to costing you additional money, this could jeopardize your rights in settlement negotiations.
- Work with your spouse in dividing assets.
Florida law requires that all marital property earned or acquired during the marriage be split in a way that is fair to both parties. Unfortunately, property settlement negotiations can end up taking months to finally resolve, driving up your legal costs.
Factors the court considers in issuing a final order include each person’s earnings, their contributions to the marriage, and any career or educational sacrifices either made in support of the other. Acknowledging these facts yourself and being flexible can help ensure an agreement is reached in the most expedient manner possible.
- Be honest about your income, assets, and debts.
As part of your divorce, you will be required to submit financial declarations of your income, assets, and debts. Attempting to hide debts and income or giving assets away to spite your spouse will increase your costs and could result in court penalties, which lower your eventual property settlement amount.
- Be reasonable in making parenting plans.
If you have children, realize that it is in their best interests to have both parents play an active role in their lives. Under Section 61.13 of the Florida Code, you will be required to submit a parenting plan outlining living arrangements and plans for holidays, school breaks, and special occasions. Unless there are issues which could put your child in jeopardy, it is in your best interests to cooperate in making these arrangements.
- Cooperate with your divorce attorney.
When clients fail to disclose important information, provide requested documents, or do not appear at hearings, it creates additional work. This drives up the legal and court costs you will end up paying. At our office, we are here to protect and guide you, and following our advice and instructions will keep added costs to a minimum.
Contact Our Office for Help
To discuss the details surrounding your divorce and other ways in which we can help keep costs down and make the divorce process smoother, reach out and contact attorney Vanessa L. Prieto to request a consultation today.