Divorce is an emotionally draining experience for most couples. Most separations are painful and emotional, and even an amicable divorce can bring complex legal issues. However, there are proven methods for shortening the divorce process and saving money that are outlined below.
If you are considering or going through a divorce, you should have an experienced attorney guiding you. Our Chicago divorce attorney at Gordon & Perlut, LLC, can be your trusted legal advocate and ensure that your interests are protected.
The best way to shorten a divorce and save money is to avoid going to trial. If two divorce attorneys need to fight it out in court over child custody, alimony, and property division, the process will take many months. Plus, the costs could be astronomical.
A better option for many couples is divorce mediation. In mediation, the spouses work with a neutral mediator to draft a divorce agreement. Mediation is less expensive and time-intensive because the parties can communicate directly. This allows both parties to reduce the number of attorney billable hours. Divorce mediation may cost between a few thousand to $15,000, depending on the case’s complexity.
Another choice is a collaborative divorce, where the attorneys meet with both spouses to create a divorce agreement. Costs for collaborative divorces vary, but they are usually less expensive than a divorce court trial.
Divorce is primarily a financial matter. So, the more you do to keep your attorney from spending billable hours collecting your records, the more time and money you save. Much of what a divorce attorney does is organize the person’s file and get a grasp on finances, property holdings, assets, etc. If you can be organized and get banking and financial records in a row, it will make the divorce take less time and cost less.
Dividing retirement accounts during a divorce can take time and cost a lot. You may need your attorney to draft a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). A more efficient way to deal with retirement accounts when they are roughly equal is to let each spouse keep theirs. If that is not an option, consider swapping other valuable assets instead of doing a QDRO. For example, if your wife maintains her retirement fund, you could be awarded the house in the divorce decree.
If you have been married for years, you may have a lot of personal property and household goods to divide. While your attorney can do this, it saves time and cost to decide among yourselves. It is usually best to avoid paying your attorneys to divide furniture, electronics, rugs, etc. If there is a disagreement over a particular household item with sentimental value, try to work it out before getting a lawyer involved.
Divorce is often a highly stressful and contentious experience, but the ideas above can help to reduce the cost and timeline. If you have questions about your impending divorce, our Chicago divorce attorney at Gordon & Perlut, LLC, has the experience and skill to represent your interests effectively. Please call (312) 360-0250 today for a divorce consultation.