It can be hard to deal with divorce from an entirely rational
viewpoint, but letting your emotions get the better of you can hurt your wallet
more than your pride.
Your best option is to be as honest as possible – don’t try to
hide your assets – no matter how badly you’d hate to share them with your ex –
as this will only take more time and money to sort out and is TOTALLY ILLEGAL.
Failing to agree over the division of family assets (such as the
family home, a business and pension funds), child custody and support and even
personal items like CD collections or pets can also cause fees to skyrocket,
especially if both parties reach a stalemate over who gets to keep Harry the
How to negotiate
Collaborative law is growing in popularity. Rather than attorneys
exchanging a series of angry (and expensive) letters as they negotiate the
terms of the settlement and ending up in court if they can't agree, instead
both parties sit down with their respective attorneys to, if possible, work out
the terms of the settlement. This only works if both sides are prepared to be
constructive and, again, make full-disclosure of their assets. It is an “all
cards on the table” exercise but, if successful, can reduce the legal costs of
Collaborative law is not dissimilar to mediation, although this
has proven unpopular with couples as there is usually only one mediator
involved who can give advice to both parties, meaning one often feels
short-changed at the end of the process.
In collaborative law, your attorney is present during the
meetings and if a settlement can’t be reached, the same attorney can’t go on to
represent you in court, thus eliminating any incentive to draw out the process
in hope of a larger fee.
Protect your assets
If you are experiencing an emotional or bitter divorce then make
sure, if you do choose to get married again, that you’re prepared for the
worst. A prenup, is a worthwhile consideration particularly where one party is
bringing significant assets into the marriage. It is intended that the prenup
would provide the couple with a framework for dividing the assets on a divorce.
(read more on pre-nups) Finally, no matter how betrayed you feel, or how bitter
the divorce, it is almost always best to grin and bear the pain even after the
proceedings are over rather than harbour a grudge into eternity.
The benefit of couples dealing with matters amicably is that this will hopefully enable them to communicate sensibly with their former spouse in the future. Many divorcing couples seem to forget that, following the resolution of the proceedings between them, that they may still need to have contact with their former spouse, particularly where children are involved. (read more on child custody) Generally where the couple have conducted the proceedings amicably, there seems to be a better prospect of them avoiding further disputes with their former spouse. (read more on hidden assets)
Call for a free consultation now 310.247.9913.