What Is the Financial Cost?
The exact dollar amount will vary case by case, but divorce can be pricey. In Florida, the amount that goes toward attorney’s fees, court costs, mediation costs, parent education classes, and evaluation fees can be overwhelming. One of the reasons why Pazos recommends mediation and out-of-court settlement is to help you mitigate some of these costs.
Divorce obviously can touch every part of your financial life. Your credit rating, for one, might suffer as an indirect result of your divorce. Making sure that your financial situation is sound, that you know all of the debts and obligations that your family has, can be essential in making sure that your credit is not adversely affected by your divorce. Pazos can walk you through how to ensure that your credit and financial history is not penalized by what your spouse does or does not do during your divorce.
What Are the Other Costs?
Another cost is time. Divorce can often take far longer than expected. Even a conventional, uncontested divorce can take months to a year or more to finalize. The waiting game can leave you partly responsible for the financial obligations of your spouse until everything is resolved, and the time you wait can make it challenging to move forward. Obviously, if the divorce is contested, the time and money involved could be even greater. When both parties are committed to a peaceful resolution, and your attorney is equally committed, the situation is much healthier emotionally and financially.
Should I Get a Free Consultations?
Free consultations sound like a great idea. Who wouldn’t want free legal advice? The option is especially appealing if you’re worried about your finances heading into a divorce.
But you need to be aware of what you will receive (or not receive) from a free consultation. You will likely not receive specific advice that will help you with your case. Lawyers may deliberately attempt to be vague about their recommendations and advice while keeping your particular case at arm’s length during a free consultation. They’re not trying to frustrate you or waste your time. They keep their distance because if they dive too deep or get too specific with their legal advice, they risk creating an attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship carries inherent risk for them, as it has certain legally-binding restrictions and privileges.
Free consultations, by their nature, cannot get you the legal advice and representation you need. If you are certain you’re filing for divorce, it’s best to find a firm that is willing to represent you as soon as possible.
How Can I Save Money?
Getting a divorce on a budget isn’t easy. If you’re looking to get the very best result on a smaller budget, the very best ways to keep costs low is to find effective representation and seek mediation. Representation by a good law firm can mean timely responses, court appointments kept, and paperwork submitted on time. This expertise can mean the difference between a divorce taking over a year to only months. Paying for good representation is smart spending and can save money in the long run.
If you can divorce amicably, you might consider mediation over litigation. Mediation is less formal and takes place in an office, not a courtroom. You and your representation, along with your spouse and his or her representation, work together to find common ground and solutions that work for everyone. In a court divorce, complicated proceedings can be confusing and your spouse and his or team becomes an adversary rather than a partner. In mediation, the goal is peaceful solutions. Of course, not everybody’s circumstances allow for mediation, but it may be a good idea if your spouse largely see eye to eye or you think you can get there. Mediation and out-of-court settlements often takes far less time, and therefore less money, than litigious divorce. Interestingly, parties who participate in mediation also often get more of what they want in the end than those who go to war in the courtroom.
Pazos Law Group is prepared to help you navigate the challenging path to divorce. We will always advocate for your best interest, whether that means a path to mediation or representing you in the courtroom. We know that divorce is a challenging time for everyone, and our goal is to help you move forward as peacefully as possible.