January 2020 - Costly Divorce Mistakes
I’m often asked, “How much will my divorce cost?” There are several factors that can influence the cost of your divorce, including:
- The process you use and/or professionals you hire;
- Where you live;
- How complicated your case is; and
- The extent of cooperation, or lack of, between you and your soon-to-be ex.
To help control the expense, if possible, work with your spouse to reach agreements on property and asset distribution or parenting arrangements. But certainly, what you don’t want to do is make mistakes that will add to the expense of your divorce. Some of the more common mistakes are:
- Not consulting a lawyer – Lawyers know the procedures and etiquette to follow in court and can help you navigate your proceedings appropriately. A lawyer can also foresee potential issues in the future and can draft a comprehensive and lasting agreement that may avoid subsequent issues and avoid further legal fees and costs.
- Not having your paperwork ready – Proof of your income as well as your debts will back up your requests whether you’re looking for financial support or for a reduction in the amount of support you pay.
- Not being reasonable or honest – Judges don’t view it favorably if you are unreasonable or overreach in your requests. If you need $1,000 a month, don’t ask for $2,000. If you have a certain amount in financial assets, be honest about the numbers.
- Not respecting the judge’s time – Everyone gets their chance to speak but when the judge is talking, it’s your turn to listen. Remember to turn off your cellphone to avoid annoying interruptions. Be on time and don’t make the Court wait..
- Not controlling your attitude – Giving the Judge, court personnel or your future ex- spouse an attitude won’t win any friends. Control your anger and be polite.
Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster but keeping your emotions in check while in the courtroom can help expedite your proceedings which, in turn, can lower the cost of your divorce.