Making the decision to end your marriage is emotionally stressful. It doesn't matter if you are the one asking for the divorce, you both agree it is for the best, or you are the one being asked, it is going to be one of the most difficult things you will face in life. You should not have to add to the stress with financial worries. A long, drawn out divorce trial is going to cost a lot of money. Except in very few cases, you are going to need a divorce attorney to go over the final paperwork before having a judge sign it; however, you do have a few options as to how much the lawyer is involved. Here are a few options for saving money on the legal fees for your divorce.
Do It Yourself
Filing the initial paperwork for a divorce is not hard. You simply go to the courthouse, request the paperwork for a petition for divorce, fill it out and file it with a clerk of the court. This is the first step in getting a divorce. Once the papers are filed, your spouse will need to be served with the petition. He or she will have the chance to respond to the petition. If you both agree to the division of property, child support and custody, and the division of any marital debt outlined in the petition, take the paperwork to a divorce attorney. This lawyer will go over everything in the petition with you, and to make sure nothing has been left out will request financial disclosure from both you and your spouse. This will be a listing of your income, what you own and what you owe, both together and separately. If you are all still in agreement with the petition it will go before the judge to be signed and finalized.
If at any time during a do-it-yourself divorce you and your spouse disagree on something, contact a mediator to help resolve the issue. The mediator remains neutral and tries to help the two of you come to some type of compromise. When the issues have been settled, have your lawyer read over the revised agreement to make sure you understand it and feel it is fair before sending it to the judge.
While you could complete the do-it-yourself or mediated divorce without having a lawyer involved, it is important to keep in mind your emotional state during the process. You want a lawyer to go over the final agreement to be sure nothing is missed, and you feel it is fair. However, if you can manage to have the agreement written up without the lawyers, you can save a lot of money. If you have any legal concerns, consider looking into a local divorce attorney to learn more.