Less Expensive Divorce: Here's How

We all know that the biggest step to a less expensive divorce is to fight less and agree more. However, how to do that is the key. Sometimes you might not be able to work it out no matter how hard you try because your spouse is not ready whether emotionally or financially. If there is the possibility of a speedy resolution the tone will be set by how each of you initially respond to the situation.

Spouses that react emotionally and lose sight of what is important will likely prolong their divorce and incur greater fees. Therefore, a good first step is to make a list of what are your major concerns and then (if you can) make a list of what you think your spouse's major concerns are. Often the two lists may be nearly identical in topics but not in solutions. Making a list also forces you to stay in the logical part of the problem.

Topics will usually include any or all of the following: Custody, Parenting Schedules, Child Support, Child Care, Spousal Support, Division of Property and Debts, Occupancy of the Marital Residence, Division of Retirement Accounts, Payment Of Current Bills, Attorney's Fees, Life Insurance, Refinancing Mortgages, Car Loans and Leases.

Each item on the list has a potential solution but whether it is a fair solution is where the problems may begin. Experienced divorce lawyers will be able to help you after listening to your concerns and come up with various ways that your issues can be resolved.

For example, parenting schedules can be made flexible for parents with non-traditional hours of work; consultation language on parenting can be drafted in many different ways; radius clauses can help deal with relocation fears/concerns. Parents who put the children in the middle of the divorce or interfere with the other parent's access may also have to pay for an Attorney For The Child.

Child support, Spousal Support, Child Care can be analyzed using NY formulas and then if there are to be deviations there are many different ways how to approach the numbers such as limiting extra-curricular activities, utilizing local or other discounted services for child care and staying in network for health related treatment. Even other bills can be considered as a form of support such as the mortgage payment, car payments and asset distribution.

Spouses who raid assets, take property out of the house, undervalue the house or deny the real income (between spouses) are on their way to a longer and more expensive divorce case. In addition, there will often be expert fees to be paid which adds to the cost.

Parties who stop paying the bills will often need to obtain a court order for support. People who don't follow the court order may have contempt proceedings if the support cannot be paid by payroll deduction or direct payment to the support agency.

Every time there are motions filed or attendance at multiple court appearances the costs are increasing.

If you can find a way to make a reasonable proposal or to consider how to reasonably make a counter proposal the discussions and case have a good chance of resolving faster. Four way settlement discussions are often very productive.

Guidance from an experienced matrimonial attorney is so valuable because they can tell you what is possible and what is not likely. They can guide you so that you do not make mistakes. They can create solutions that are unique to your case. They can give you insight into your judge and the other attorney's thoughts on resolution vs litigation.

If you have the chance to be reasonable and fair grab it and encourage your spouse to treat you the same way.