The United States has an interesting history of divorce. For instance, it takes until about the age of thirty before the divorce rate from 2017 overtakes the divorce rate from the 1960s. It takes another ten years before the 2017 rate overtakes the rate from the 1980s.
A statistic from 2018 states the average age of marriage has increased. It’s not until the age of thirty that the number of married people surpasses the number of single people.
Unfortunately, divorce still happens. We don’t always marry our soulmate the first time. The good news is that divorce doesn’t always end up the way we see on TV.
Some marriages end on good terms, and it is possible to get an affordable divorce. We’ll talk about how to do that in this article.
1. Skip the Lawyer
The important thing to remember about lawyers is that their job is to get their clients as much as they want while giving up as little as they can. This is a recipe for conflict, and while sometimes it’s acceptable and even necessary to consult a lawyer, it’s best avoided if possible.
The average cost of a divorce in the US is roughly $15,000, a sum most of us don’t have on hand and would prefer to not pay. Even if you find a cheap divorce lawyer, you’re still going to be spending thousands in divorce fees.
Divorce without a lawyer is called a ‘no-fault’ divorce, meaning that nobody is being blamed for why the marriage broke up. Something about you or your situation is different and it simply doesn’t work anymore. One of the most common terms used in a no-fault divorce is ‘irreconcilable differences.’
All states recognize this type of divorce, but some states insist that you live apart for a certain amount of time first.
2. Contact a Mediator
Just because you don’t go to court doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consult anybody. Whether you want the divorce or your husband wants the divorce, one of the alternatives to a divorce lawyer is a mediator. You should definitely go this route if you want an amicable divorce.
A mediator is very different from a divorce lawyer in one major way. They’re a neutral party, so they’re far less likely to cause arguments and hurt feelings than lawyers are. For this reason, marriages tend to end on friendlier terms when going through a mediator.
Keep in mind that going through a mediator doesn’t completely take the lawyers out of the equation, as both parties may need an attorney. However, the attorneys play more of an advisory role, helping their clients understand the potential risks and consequences of the final settlement.
It’s also useful to consult an attorney before formally agreeing on anything. This a great way to prevent an unequal arrangement, where one party comes out far better than the other.
Regardless of how you choose to go about your divorce, cooperation is the key will make everything easier, which leads to a quick, cheap divorce. Part of this means being honest about assets and concerns.
If you have children, it’s important to understand what’s best for them. You may not be getting along with your former spouse right now, but do your kids have any problems with them? Do you trust them as a parent even though you don’t want them as a partner anymore?
Cooperating can help you, and failing to cooperate can ruin you. If mediators, lawyers, or judges find that you’re acting in bad faith, they can make you pay for the whole divorce.
What does it mean to act in ‘bad faith,’ though? There are a few different things a person can do that can be considered bad faith.
One of them is to deceive the other parties in an effort to secure a better outcome for yourself. Falsely reporting how many assets you have you don’t have to give up as much would be considered bad faith.
Bad faith can also take the form of purposely making trouble. Rather than lying or hiding money, you’re trying to spend as much as possible to make the divorce tougher and more painful for your ex.
Imagine being found to be acting in bad faith and suddenly having to pay all the legal fees you worked so hard to inflate.
We don’t imagine many people would do any of these things, but it probably should be mentioned anyways.
4. Paralegals and Paperwork
It may seem like an easy and even obvious way to get an affordable divorce, but doing it yourself is usually not a good idea. Technically, this is still a legal proceeding, and most of us didn’t go to law school.
Trying to work your way through the legalese can be incredibly difficult, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why do-it-yourself divorces are often slow and expensive. In the long run, it’s much easier to get a lawyer or paralegal to do the paperwork for you.
You should do your research when searching for paralegals, though, because not all of them actually have legal qualifications. You may even want to get a lawyer for this.
Since they’re not representing you in court, there are not as many fees to pay. This means a far less costly divorce for you and your ex.
How to Get an Affordable Divorce
Getting an affordable divorce is preferable for all parties involved, and it doesn’t have to be hard. There are many ways to go about a divorce that will make things less costly, and hopefully nicer, in the long run.
We’ve offered a few tips in this article, but like all aspects of law, there are probably whole lists of other things that have been tried. You may want to look into them to make sure you’re truly prepared.
Please visit our site for more legal advice. If custody is an issue, we can help with that, too.