People often associate divorce with high costs, drawn out court battles, and an enormous emotional toll. However, this does not have to be the case. There are ways for most couples, regardless of circumstances, to minimize the financial burden of a divorce through various alternatives. Divorce litigation should be a couple’s final resort when all other options have failed.
Here are some of the ways in which you can minimize the cost of your divorce:
- The Kitchen Table Divorce: If you and your soon-to-be former spouse are operating on a high level of trust and cooperation, you might want to consider a kitchen table divorce. This essentially involves the two of you sitting down and working out your own divorce settlement together. This does not mean you should completely forego legal assistance. It would be wise to have representation or legal aid when the time comes to fill out the divorce papers in order to avoid making any errors. Divorce can be complicated and not filling out certain legal documents properly can end up costing you.
In a kitchen table divorce, you will want to discuss how debts and assets are to be divided, child custody and visitation, and spousal and child support. If you are both able to reach an agreement on these issues, this can save you quite a bit of time and money.
- Mediation: Another way to stay out of court is through mediation, which is similar to a kitchen table divorce. Through this approach, a divorcing couple can discuss their settlement with a professional mediator. The mediator would act as a neutral third party, charged with the task of facilitating a discussion between both parties and ensuring they stay on track. For couples who might not be on the same cooperative level as those who are able to do a kitchen table divorce, having a mediator present is an effective way to keep things moving forward even when things get rough.
A mediator would take on a variety of roles, including:
- Giving assignments to both parties, such as gathering important information relating to the value of properties
- Making sure meetings stay within certain time limits
- Guiding an open and honest discussion about what each spouse wants to accomplish in the divorce
- Assisting both spouses in discussing future goals relating to their children or business interests
- Collaborative Divorce: Lastly, couples can avoid high legal fees through a collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce, each party and their respective attorneys work together to reach a favorable solution to which both spouses can agree to. In this situation, tasks would be divided between both attorneys, a financial specialist, a divorce coach, and possibly a parenting specialist. This type of approach can be particularly beneficial for those with children or shared business interests, allowing them to move forward not only with the divorce, but afterward as well.
Not only do these methods keep the costs of divorce down, but they also allow divorcing couples to avoid the emotional roller coaster of litigation. If you and your former spouse share children, choosing one of the aforementioned approaches would be especially advantageous in allowing you to nurture a healthy co-parenting relationship, so you are better able to focus on your children rather than petty bickering.
Divorce Attorneys in Newport Beach
At Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP, our certified family law specialists bring over 130 years of experience to the table. If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, or are in the midst of one, now is the time to seek the skilled legal representation you need to get through this challenging time. Our firm works hard to keep spouses out of the courtroom to achieve the most cost-effective divorce settlement possible and providing spouses the opportunity to foster an amicable relationship moving forward. Since not all divorcing couples are able to benefit from mediation, our legal team takes the time to determine what is best for each set of circumstances, and is fully prepared to fight for our clients in family court.
To schedule a free consultation with a Newport Beach family law attorney, call our firm today at (949) 565-4158.