Divorce doesn’t have to be expensive. When I first started on this “divorce doesn’t have to be…” track a few weeks ago, I mentioned the fact that the cost of ending a marriage does not need to be excessive.
Some people still cite cost as a reason not to get divorced, which is just madness. If a person is desperately unhappy, in an abusive relationship or does not believe a relationship can be saved, money should not be a barrier to them changing their life for the better. And the cost involved can be kept under control
There are certain legal actions to take and papers to be filed, which will inevitably involve solicitor’s fees as well. But there are simple steps people can take to prevent the costs from getting out of hand.
The starting point is to understand the costs of divorce. Then a person can look at what they need, be aware of the areas for potential explosion in costs and so push on accordingly.
There are many steps that can be taken to keep a lid on costs. Agreeing a fixed fee with your solicitor is a good one so you know exactly what you are getting and how much it is going to cost. This should mean no hidden costs for sending letters or photocopying documents, for instance. Allied to this is knowing exactly who is working for you. Are they a junior, a legal exec, a solicitor or a senior partner? Charges will vary depending on their level and experience – but you will perhaps get faster and slicker service the higher up the chain they are.
If I had to pick a top three tips to keep you bills as low as possible though, it would be these:
Give clear instructions – make sure your lawyer is clear in what it is you want to achieve. Avoid changing your mind or moving the goal Ambiguous statements can result in unnecessary work and time delays.
Establish a policy for correspondence – if you do not want your solicitor to acknowledge correspondence or respond without authorisation from you, specify this in writing. Again this saves time and so expense.
Do not allow emotional issues to cloud the facts – avoid using your solicitor as a source of emotional support. You will be billed for the time. Also, if you are making decisions based on emotions, they might not be the best ones, and so could extend the process and the time needed in court – which is where the costs really start to rocket.
For more advice on money saving tips, have a look at our video on the topic.