5 tips to keep the costs of your divorce down

October 19th 2020

wedding rings on a bench

There’s no doubt that getting divorced is a challenging time and, quite possibly, one of the hardest things you may go through.  There are a number of ways in which you can help to make the process of ending your marriage and getting divorced easier and avoid incurring unnecessary legal fees.

Consider alternative dispute resolution

Alternative dispute resolution includes mediation and arbitration.  Mediation is a process where an independent, trained professional helps couples to try and reach an agreement in relation to matters arising from a marriage breakdown such as parenting arrangements, money and property.

Your lawyer can provide you with legal advice alongside the mediation process and can draw up a consent order which is approved by the court making your financial settlement legally binding.

Avoid using your lawyer for emotional support

Whilst we recognise that divorce can be an incredibly upsetting and emotional time, your lawyer is best used for advice on the legal issues and strategy as they charge for their time, even if this time is spent listening to how you feel as opposed to offering legal advice. 

It is advisable to keep your emotions out of negotiations, as this could cloud your judgement and draw out the process.  An outlet you for your emotions is important and accessing emotional support whether this is from friends and family or a counsellor or divorce coach should be considered.  We have connections with divorce coaches if you would be interested in finding out further details.

Get expert advice

It is important to get legal advice from an expert divorce or family lawyer at an early stage and certainly once you have undertaken the financial disclosure process. 

You should also consider getting financial advice from an independent financial adviser as well as obtaining the advice of a tax expert. 

Try to remain amicable

It can be easy to lose sight of what is important when you are in the midst of a divorce and trying to negotiate the terms of a financial settlement or agree the arrangements for your children.  The longer negotiations continue and the more acrimonious matters get, the longer it will take to resolve matters and the higher your costs will be, both financially and emotionally.

Court should be a last resort as it is far better for both parties and particularly any children for matters to be resolved by agreement.   Keeping matters out of court will help to keep your costs down.

Be realistic about your expectations

It can be tempting when you are getting divorced to speak to friends and family who have been through the process and hear how their case was settled or what order was made if it went to court.  Each case is different and you must keep an open mind about your own case.  Your lawyer is the best person to advise on the potential outcomes for your case.  It is important to listen to their advice, even if their advice is not what you want to hear.  Make sure you are realistic about your expectations and that you are not simply trying to win, as there are no winners and losers in family proceedings.

Be realistic about your expectations

If you are in the process of or considering divorce or separating from your partner, please contact Madeleine Harrington, Family Solicitor at Spratt Endicott at mharrington@se-solicitors.co.uk for expert advice on your matter.

*Disclaimer: While everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this article, it is a general guide only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought in relation to the particular facts of a given situation. The information is accurate at date of publication, 19th of October 2020 .