Divorce Proceedings: Paying For A Divorce and Handling Our Finances Properly
Ending a marriage is always not a pleasant experience for couples. This puts a lot of emotional and mental strain to those people who are undergoing the process. Not to mention the financial aspect of going through such procedure.
Today, we’ll discuss all the bits and pieces that you need to know regarding divorce and the financial state of things that comes during and after. If divorce is the only way out of your relationship, these are some important notes that you might need to consider.
A friendly reminder from a family law attorney, Raymond Hekmat from California, “Divorce can be a very expensive venture.” To give you a quick tour, on average, the cost of filing a divorce in the United States costs around $215 while the average divorce attorney fee costs $10,180. These figures come from a recent study and it can slightly go higher or lower depending on the state we are at.
To help us overcome this situation, it is best to know your options financially so we will know where we should go. Here are some pointers that might help us manage our finances during the process of divorce.
Arranging a Payment Plan
Attorney fees are probably the main hurdle that we need to overcome when it comes to completing the divorce process financially. However, few people don’t know how to negotiate and they resort to paying the fees upfront.
Most family law attorneys allow a structured payment plan for those who pay the retainer. A retainer is commonly a fee that costs a few thousand dollars which is more flexible than a huge upfront payment.
After discussing the initial retainer, it is best to discuss if there are any additional fees such as transaction fees and possible interest. Once we know this figure, we can then proceed setting up a flexible payment plan that is not going to hurt our pockets that much.
Marital Funds and Divorce Expenses
Divorce is a daunting process especially if we have limited budget. However, this should stop you from freeing ourselves in that situation. One option to go around this roadblock is by asking the court to cover the expenses from your shared marital assets.
According to a family law attorney, Dylan Formosa, “If a couple has the funds, they’ll pay the initial retainer and subsequent fees from marital money.” He then added that “this allows both spouses to pay an attorney even if one of the spouses has historically been the primary wage earner.”
Unfortunately, this might not apply to all since there are couples that don’t have that much shared assets. If this is the case you’re in and your spouse holds most of the income, you can request to the court and the judge requiring your spouse to pay the fees involved in the case.
In some cases, judges order both parties to sell their shared properties to make room for the expenses during the proceedings. With this option, even if we’re on a tight budget, we will be less susceptible to any financial struggles during the divorce case.
Asking for a Loan from Friends and Family
Borrowing money from our close friends and loved ones can also help us manage our divorce expenses. This is better than borrowing money using a credit card or paying your bills using your savings.
This gives us more control over our legal fees. It also saves you from the mandatory disclosure that can be requested by the other party. Just make sure that we explain the possible outcome and discuss to them how we can repay our loan and it is recommended to put everything in writing.
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If borrowing from our loved ones is out of the equation and we don’t have enough savings to cover our legal needs, we can also resort back to personal loans.
Most people don’t like this approach and they feel uncomfortable. However, this can easily take out most of your legal needs in just one snap. Just make sure that we do proper estimation on how much the legal cost can be so we can have enough fundings during the proceedings.
Shop around and find the best option for yourself when considering a personal loan. We’ll also have to consider the monthly payments, the interest rates and other fees linked to our personal loans and we should be all set.
If there are no other options, we can always use our credit cards. It is better if you have joint credit cards since most of the judges will hold both parties accountable until you have reached an agreement and once the divorce case is finalized.
We’ll just have to be aware that some credit card transactions often have high-interest rates. If this is the only option, you can reach out to your local financial advisor and they can probably present to you other viable options.
With these basic tips on handling finances during a divorce proceeding, we can be sure that you’ll be fine once the dust settles. There’s no denying that divorce eats up a large sum of our finances. However, we can still be smart about our decision and handle our financial things more efficiently.
Cover Photo Credits: Boyd Rice Solicitors