Divorce is costly—it drains people emotionally, financially and can affect relationships in different ways. In this article, I would like to focus on how you can avoid financial drain on your resources. I know my clients love me, with the exception of the end of the month when they have to pay my bill.
So, here are a few tips that can help individuals who like to save money maintain their sanity through a difficult time.
1) Work with a Therapist. You can work with an individual therapist, child therapist or marriage counselor to deal with your own fears and anxieties. You can work with a therapist to identify what is in the best interest of the child and to develop co-parenting skills, visitation schedules and other tedious details that come with a divorce.
2) Work with an Accountant. Most marriages fail because of financial issues. In most cases, it’s because one spouse controls the money and the other spouse takes care of the household. At the time of divorce, the spouse dealing with financials is usually blamed for mishandling the money, to put it mildly. I suggest that you take 2-5 years worth of tax returns, hire an accountant, spend approximately $3,000 and buy some peace of mind—it will be worth it. If doubts led you to divorce, then don’t let that continue to dictate the rest of your life. Fighting in court will be more costly.
3) Work with a Mediator. In a divorce case, four egos are involved and clash all the time: two parties and two attorneys. To diffuse such a clash, work with a mediator who has only one objective, which is to help all parties find common ground. Agreements can be reached on small issues like who keeps the car and they can help you develop a case management plan (like what happens next and when). A mediator is a powerful resource. Use it.
4) Work with an Attorney who is effective based on your personality, your goals and the other party’s traits. Interview a few attorneys, and only then hire the one that suits your personality. It is important that you don’t rush into hiring the first attorney you meet.
As you can see, in a divorce case, if you follow practical advice and make the process less personal and more business-like, you can have quicker results and save lot of grief and money. Good luck.
Madan Ahluwalia is Managing Attorney for Ahluwalia Law PC. In practice since 1995, Madan is notorious for his direct no-nonsense, no-sugar-coated advice. He can be reached at 408-416-3149. His website is www.ahluwalia-law.com.