Contrary to popular belief, divorce does not necessarily have to be a costly process. Many people worry that they may not be able to afford the cost of the divorce. For this reason, we have prepared 10 tips on how to reduce the cost of your divorce in Texas.
If you want to get a divorce in Texas, consult with a Fort Hood divorce lawyer to find out how you can save money when filing for divorce.
1. Research Texas Divorce Laws
You should learn more about the state’s divorce laws in order to reduce the cost of your divorce. As a rule of thumb, the more you know about the legal process, the less you will need to pay your attorney to explain the law to you.
However, do not expect to become a legal expert overnight. You still need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process and stay organized throughout the divorce case.
As you learn more about Texas divorce laws, you will understand your rights and know what you can do to achieve a favorable outcome.
2. Stay Organized
The divorce process involves numerous documents, forms, papers, and documents. You must collect a number of documents and file various forms, motions, and petitions during a divorce case.
It is essential to be organized when handling all those documents and papers. However, it is equally important to organize your thoughts before speaking with your attorney to save money on attorney’s fees (many lawyers charge by the hour).
3. Be Willing to Negotiate and Compromise
Disagreements and conflicts can drive up the cost of your divorce because require more court hearings and legal actions. The best thing you can do to save money during the divorce process is be willing to reach an agreement with your spouse through negotiations and compromise.
Opt for mediation and collaborative divorce instead of litigation. Traditional divorce litigation is more expensive, stressful, and unpredictable than negotiating a settlement agreement out of court.
4. Try Mediation
As mentioned earlier, traditional divorce litigation can be quite costly. While going to court may be necessary to resolve some contested issues, you should consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation to finalize your divorce for as little as possible.
Mediation is not only cheaper and more confidential than traditional divorce litigation, but it also allows you to have more control over the outcome of your divorce. Previously, we discussed the pros and cons of divorce mediation in our blogs.
5. Keep Your Emotions Under Control
Do not let your emotions cloud your judgment. Many people let their emotions take over when trying to resolve disagreements during a divorce case.
You should learn to control your emotions and focus on what is really important to you. Do not fight over insignificant things. Try to minimize areas that trigger uncontrollable emotions or negative feelings.
6. Waive the Divorce Filing Fees
Depending on the county where you live, the divorce filing fee can range from $250 to $350. Not all people can afford to pay several hundreds of dollars to initiate the divorce proceedings.
However, you may qualify for a waiver of the filing fee by submitting an Affidavit of Indigency. By filing the Affidavit, you are asking the court to waive the filing fee. You may qualify for a waiver if you are receiving public benefits and cannot afford court fees.
7. Choose Your Divorce Attorney Carefully
You should find the best divorce attorney in your county or city who specializes in the area of the law that fits your needs. For example, if you and your spouse cannot agree on the division of property, you should look for a knowledgeable attorney with vast experience in property division matters.
Many law firms, including The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, offer a free consultation to prospective clients. Schedule a free consultation to ensure that you are hiring the right attorney for your specific case.
Do not forget to ask a potential lawyer about their fees and costs of representation. The last thing you need to being overcharged or finding out about hidden legal fees after your divorce is finalized.
8. Avoid Paying for Appraisals
If possible, you agree with your spouse on a value of the marital home, automobile, and other assets to avoid paying for appraisals. Appraisal fees can be quite substantial, which is why you and your spouse may want to try agreeing on a value to reduce the cost of your divorce.
9. Speak with Your Attorney’s Associates and Paralegals Whenever Possible
You can lower your attorney’s fees by keeping your telephone conversations and meetings with your lawyer to a minimum. Another way to reduce your legal fees is to speak with your attorney’s associates, assistants, and paralegals unless you need legal advice.
Whenever possible, contact your divorce attorney’s paralegals and legal assistants to ask questions instead of speaking directly with your attorney because they bill at a lower rate.
10. Avoid Divorce Litigation
Taking your divorce case to trial can send the cost of your divorce through the roof in an instant. That is why you should avoid litigation at all costs. You should hire a skilled divorce attorney to help you reach an out-of-court agreement through negotiations and other alternative dispute resolution methods.
Litigating your divorce will not only increase the cost of your divorce, but will also drag out the divorce proceedings.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Fort Hood Divorce Lawyer
Speak with a Fort Hood divorce lawyer to find out how you can lower the cost of your divorce in Texas. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to advise you on how to make your divorce less expensive than it has to be.At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, we are committed to providing our clients with effective strategies to help them achieve a favorable outcome at a lower cost. Call 254-501-4040 to talk about your particular situation during a free consultation.