Divorce is probably one of the most challenging things you will ever experience, and it is natural to have apprehensions and concerns about how your divorce case will likely unfold. A wide range of issues can complicate any divorce, and reeling with the emotional side of the experience makes handling the practical side more challenging than many people initially expect.
One of the biggest concerns shared by those preparing to divorce in the Midwest is the cost of the process. Legal fees are notoriously expensive throughout the United States, and many Americans believe that attorneys’ fees are only manageable by the very wealthy. While legal fees can be expensive, this should not deter you from seeking legal counsel when you need it most. There are several ways you could potentially save money on the cost of your divorce.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Many couples throughout the Midwest are concerned about the time and expense required for divorce. As a result, alternative dispute resolution has become one of the most popular ways for couples to handle their divorces more swiftly and effectively than litigation could allow. When a couple settles their divorce through litigation, the process unfolds similarly to a standard civil suit. The two parties meet with their respective attorneys in court, and both have the opportunity to offer evidence and testimony. The judge overseeing the case considers all evidence and testimony before delivering a final ruling.
Litigation is a time-consuming and stressful process. The initial discovery phase alone can take months to complete depending on the scope of the divorce case, and both parties are likely to spend significant amounts of money on legal fees due to the amount of time their respective attorneys must spend handling the various procedural aspects of the case. Alternative dispute resolution effectively offers private settlement negotiation for divorce, allowing both spouses to save not only time and money but also reach more personalized and agreeable terms than a judge would likely deliver.
Mediation is the most popular form of alternative dispute resolution that only requires both spouses to be willing to negotiate. The spouses and their respective attorneys meet with a neutral mediator who helps them draft their divorce agreement. If the couple is agreeable and efficient in their negotiations, it’s possible to complete divorce mediation in a fraction of the time that litigation would require.
Many people conflate legal separation with divorce. The reality is that legal separation can provide many of the benefits that divorce typically offers without the legal finality of divorce. For example, many couples use legal separation to effectively negotiate divorce terms, sometimes as a springboard for future divorce or to provide space and time for the spouses to consider whether to reconcile or divorce.
It’s important to note that while legal separation does not formally end a marriage, the process of legally separating typically requires covering many of the same issues that divorce proceedings usually entail. This can potentially save you money by cutting out the ultimate phase of finalizing a divorce, but it is still a stressful and time-consuming process. If you are concerned about the cost of your divorce, legal separation can allow you to lay the groundwork and take time for yourself while you decide whether to press forward with your divorce or remain separated from your spouse for an extended time.
Find the Right Attorney
While it’s natural to have reservations about the potential cost of attorneys’ fees for your divorce, it is vital to understand that you risk losing much more than you would save by attempting to handle your divorce entirely on your own. Taking time to find the right attorney can seem like an extra expense for an already costly process, but the reality is that your attorney can help you save money in the long run by assisting you in securing a better divorce agreement.
Your attorney can help you handle the procedural aspects of your case you may not know how to address on your own. This will significantly cut down the time required for the process overall, and you can defer to your attorney whenever you have concerns about your case proceedings. Whether you decide to explore alternative dispute resolution or proceed with divorce litigation, your legal team will be invaluable when it comes to securing a positive outcome for your case.
Divorce entails much more than simply ending your marriage, and no matter what your financial status may be, the outcome of your divorce is very likely to influence your life in many ways for years to come. It is natural to be concerned about how much your divorce will cost you and the long-term financial implications of ending your marriage. Advice from an experienced divorce attorney is the best resource for this challenging situation. Contact an experienced divorce attorney as soon as you have decided to end your marriage to have the best possible experience with the process.