5 Effective Ways to Make Your Michigan Divorce Less Expensive
Choosing to divorce is usually a very difficult decision for couples, and it can cause a great deal of personal stress on the two of you as well as any children you share. Unfortunately, your Michigan divorce could also cause some financial stress as many of the legal proceedings associated with divorce are expensive and add up quickly.
However, there are some strategies to consider when entering into your divorce proceedings in Michigan that could ease the financial burden. Here are five key ways to cut down the cost of your divorce and make an already tense and difficult situation a bit easier on all parties involved.
- Avoid a trial with collaborative divorce. Court dates are one of the easiest ways to rack up excessive divorce costs, but luckily going to court is not mandatory. Avoiding court is one of the primary tenets of the concept of collaborative divorce, which encourages couples to work to resolve any divorce-related issues before even filing for divorce as well as seeking outside counsel to aid in the process like therapists. This allows any legal counsel hired to function more as a mediator than as a litigator, saving both parties thousands of dollars in court fees. Collaborative family law practice is not legal in all states, but Michigan adopted the Uniform Collaborative Law Act in 2014, becoming the tenth U.S. state to do so.
- Focus on resolving the big issues. Just like all relationships, all divorces are different, and one couple may rack up thousands of dollars in legal fees trying to resolve an issue that may not even apply to another couple. However, if children are involved, parenting rights will likely be one of the most highly contested issues in your divorce, especially if the first time you and your ex discuss the matter is with an attorney. Do your best to reach a consensus on co-parenting before you even file for divorce, and you are more likely to save money in legal fees battling over the issue.
- Get organized. During the divorce process, you and your ex will be dividing up shared assets, which will involve entrenching yourselves and your lawyer in your financial history. Getting your financial records as organized as possible will prevent you from having to pay your lawyer for the extra time it takes them to search for information.
- Try to avoid appraisals. Couples will often hire appraisers to determine the value of homes, vehicles, and other large assets during divorces. The more you can work with your spouse to determine the value of shared assets and come to agreements on your own, the less you’ll have to pay for outside parties to determine exact value.
- Don’t misuse your divorce lawyer. You may be dealing with a lot of mixed emotions during your divorce process, so it’s important to remind yourself that your lawyer is there to manage legal issues, not to provide emotional support. Don’t overpay for time with your lawyer if what you really need is a therapy session.
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