Rachael Scharrer, Divorce expert, coach and founder of DivorceAnswered.com.au and LifeAnswered.com.au, offers you three options for the money that you save on your legal fees by being proactive.
Do you have a monthly budget for legal fees?
Do you know how many hours this offers you with your lawyer each month? Separating can be an expensive time and learning to be more conservative with your finances and expenses, as well as legal fees, can help alleviate financial concerns.
Most people separating save throughout the divorce process by undertaking parts themselves. Three easy ways to save on legal fees include:
Using the SEPARATION STATEMENT could save you between $250-500 at your first appointment with your lawyer. It takes between 1hr and 1.5 hours to convey the details of your union to a lawyer. Speed up the process by presenting them a Separation Statement and gain time for better informed advice and strategy
Purchasing a PARENTING PLAN and/or BINDING CHILD SUPPORT AGREEMENT can save you $4000 or more each! These documents can take up to 7.5 hours (or more) to create. You will save yourself thousands by investing your own energy and completing a click-the-clause parenting plan and fill-in-the-blanks Binding Child Support Agreement. The best part is that these will give you certainty and structure to your time and responsibilities
Being clear with your expectations and desired outcomes. Clients who have shifting expectations and no clear direction almost certainly spend more money on legal fees and their divorce duration is longer
(If you are looking for more ways to save throughout divorce, read this article: 24 ways to stretch your legal budget during divorce)
By undertaking parts of the divorce process, by being an ideal client and by working with your lawyer, what will you do with the money you would have otherwise spent on legal fees? Three options include:
PAY OFF DEBT. This is a great way to lift the financial burden and make inroads towards a more financially free future. Some people like to consolidate debt or concentrate on paying off one liability at a time (often the one with the highest interest first). Either way, they have a plan. Saving on legal fees by being more involved and proactive can help.
SAVE, TRAVEL AND ENJOY A LIFESTYLE. If you are successfully navigating your separation, making inroads towards appropriate agreements, then you may be able to loosen the purse strings and purchase some of life’s comforts. Rewarding yourself for ‘a job well done’ or reaching a significant milestone encourages you to stay on track and keep trying. Similarly, you might like to save for future education, medical needs or as a discretionary fund.
REINVEST AND EXTEND YOUR LEGAL BUDGET WITH YOUR LAWYER. Today, more than ever before, people separating from marriages and de facto relationships have a limited amount of money to put towards their legal fees. This means learning ways to become more savvy when working with your lawyer is more crucial. Have you considered a pre-payment plan or making regular contributions/payments towards your legal fees so that you have the funds available with your lawyer when you need the extra time or if something urgent arises?
Have you got some other savvy ways to save on your legal fees? What have you done or enjoyed with the money you saved? Share them with Divorce Answered and we will, in turn, share it with the community.