Divorce is expensive in arkansas (or anywhere)
Divorce is expensive no matter what you do. Conflict itself is expensive. (Just think about the money spent on wars, law enforcement, police, etc.). Math is not my strong suit, but it is generally more expensive to run two households than one. And there are the legal fees: Lawyers and court costs and private investigators and experts and all manner of expensive add-ons.
Most people feel powerless in a divorce, but the most important factor in how much your divorce costs is still you. Here are a few things you can do to make it (at least a little bit) cheaper.
Start seeing a therapist
If your divorce is complicated enough for you to read this post, you probably need to see someone who is professionally trained to manage mental health. This will save you money in two critical ways: First, you are far less likely to do something ridiculous if you are taking care of your mental health. And, generally, ridiculous behavior during a divorce is expensive. The second reason is that a therapist is both cheaper and more effective at walking you through your divorce than your lawyer is. I spend a lot of time addressing issues that a licensed counselor would be much, much better suited to address than me.
…a therapist is both cheaper and more effective at walking you through your divorce than your lawyer is. I spend a lot of time addressing issues that a licensed counselor would be much, much better suited to address than me.
Get organized and stop procrastinating
A divorce can be a part-time job. A lot of that job is spent gathering financial data and other evidence that your lawyer needs to win the case. If you can compile that information in a clear, understandable way, your lawyer has to spend less time organizing it. It can take a long time to wade through a couple years’ worth of text messages, emails, and receipts. That time is money. This is also important in how you communicate with your lawyer. Most attorneys still bill by the hour, so it is much cheaper to have organized, clear thoughts instead of just calling, emailing, or texting the lawyer as soon as an idea pops in your head.
Don’t fight with your spouse
Lawyers already like to fight too much. Don’t give them any additional material to use. The old adage is true: The only person that benefits when you fight with your spouse is the lawyer. Having reviewed my billing for dozens of cases, the most costly thing for clients is a lawyer being asked to mediate daily conflict. It is easy to spend three times as much money on the non-lawyer stuff (refereeing squabbles) than the lawyer stuff.
Our goal is (sincerely) to charge you the least amount of money and get you the best result. Most of the time, that won’t be cheap, but it can be a lot less expensive than it has to be. If you will help us, we promise to help you spend as little as possible.
About The Author
Stefan McBride is member of the Arkansas Bar Association, Arkansas Trial Lawyer’s Association, American Bar Association, and Pulaski County Bar Association. When he’s not lawyering, Stefan enjoys cooking or working in the garden with his wife and kid.