If you have either decided to divorce or are contemplating the divorce process, it is important to understand that whether the legal aspects of your divorce process end up being costly or financially manageable is largely up to you and your spouse. Certainly, there are fees that must be filed that are non-negotiable, and you will need to incur some legal fees in order to make sure that your paperwork is properly drafted, filed, and formalized. However, the most significant legal costs associated with the divorce process are incurred when divorces become contentious. Whether your divorce process is amicable or contentious is primarily up to you and your spouse.
When a Contentious Process Cannot (or Should Not) Be Avoided
Some couples cannot avoid a contentious divorce process because they harbor fundamental differences that cannot be settled without judicial intervention. If you have a legal issue—be it property-related or related to a child custody matter—that is worth fighting for, the costs associated with a contentious divorce process may be worth it to you. Additionally, if your marriage was affected by marital abuse, a low-cost strategy to the divorce process may not be in your best interests. As an experienced family lawyer – including those who practice at The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright – can confirm, a non-contentious and low-cost approach to divorce is not the best option for everyone. And that’s as it should be. Sometimes, a particular aim is worth fighting for.
When a Non-Contentious Process Is in Your Best Interests
With that said, if you and your spouse do not harbor fundamental differences, you can keep your divorce costs comparatively low by engaging in mediation or attorney-led negotiation in pursuit of finalizing your divorce. If a judge doesn’t need to intervene to settle any differences with your spouse, you won’t have to incur costly court-related legal fees. Instead, you can work with your spouse and both of your attorneys to come to a mutually agreeable settlement in a non-contentious fashion.
If you and your spouse already know how you’d like to divide your property and (if applicable) handle child custody, a lawyer can confirm these details in a legally enforceable way at minimal cost to you. Negotiation and/or mediation will cost you some money, but if you and your spouse don’t draw the process out unnecessarily, this non-contentious approach will cost far less than a traditional court battle would.