A recent survey conducted by the legal website Avvo, found that among couples facing a divorce the majority said that their biggest worry was over the cost of the divorce process.
It’s not surprising to hear that couples worry about the cost of a Minnesota divorce, though the extent of the worry might take many people by surprise.
The recent study is not the first one to highlight the important role that money plays in a couple’s decision-making process regarding divorce. A British study, which was released earlier this year, that found that the cost of a divorce ranked among the top 10 reasons couples decide to stay together and muddle through unhappy relationships.
Though it’s absolutely true that Minnesota divorces can be costly, couples should keep in mind that they alone determine how expensive the process will be. If divorcing couples are able to set budgets and stick to them, remain civil, be reasonable and put the best interest of their children first, the costs associated with divorce can be substantially diminished. Keep reading for some advice about how to keep costs under control.
Make a budget
Though people may be used to living on a monthly budget, it seldom occurs to couples to make a budget for their divorce. Sit down after meeting with your Minnesota family law attorney and spend some time thinking about what steps you want taken in your divorce. By crafting a litigation plan with your family law attorney, you should be able to arrive at a fairly accurate estimate of the cost of your divorce in advance. This should serve as a map for the remainder of your divorce and keep the case focused on the issues you truly care about rather than allowing you to spin off on expensive and unnecessary tangents.
Avoid going in a courtroom
The simple fact is that a contested divorce is almost always an expensive divorce. Litigation is an expensive process and every time you have to make a court appearance your Minnesota family law attorney needs to spend time preparing, something that costs you money. Negotiated settlements are by far the least expensive way to resolve a divorce and something you and your spouse should strive for if you want to keep costs in check.
Try to remain reasonable
This can be especially difficult advice in divorces where one person feels hurt and would love to get back at their former spouse. Though this urge can be tempting, remember that you are only enriching your attorney at the expense of yourself, the more you fight the fewer assets you have to divide amongst yourselves. With this in mind, try and remain reasonable when dividing assets as part of the equitable division process. Though you might want to fight tooth and nail over every coaster or lamp, remember that most things are replaceable and that it makes no sense to spend thousands in attorney’s fees fighting over something that costs a few hundred dollars.
Keep your children in mind
One of the biggest sources of conflict in a Minnesota divorce is a child custody dispute. Though it can be very difficult, try to take a step back and remind yourself that your children’s best interests are what are most important. Resist the urge to use your child as a means of punishing your ex, as this tactic often succeeds only in harming innocent kids. Though kneejerk reactions may prompt you to reject certain custody arrangements out-of-hand, spend some time carefully thinking them over first and make sure it isn’t something that you could live with. Though your ex may have been a lousy spouse that doesn’t mean he or she is a bad parent, something to keep in mind in the midst of a tense divorce.
Though it can be hard, especially in cases where one spouse feels hurt or betrayed, remember that you hold the power to determine how expensive (or not) your divorce will be. The cases with the biggest tabs are almost always the ones where the spouses tried to settle scores, something that only succeeds in leaving both spouses with less money.
An experienced Minnesota family law attorney can help walk you through the difficult process of divorce, including offering advice on confusing financial issues such as alimony and helping negotiate emotional subjects like child custody arrangements. For more information on divorce in Minnesota, along with a variety of other topics, contact Joseph M. Flanders of Flanders Law Firm at 612-424-0398.
Source: “Divorce Study Indicates That Cost Of Splitting Up Is Top Concern For Divorcing Couples,” published at HuffingtonPost.com.
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