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How to divorce in California without totally going broke

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2020 | Divorce |

Divorce is often very expensive, but it doesn’t have to completely drain your savings account. Having the right attitude and the right help can go a long way toward keeping your divorce costs reasonably low.

There are a few important tips that can help you minimize your costs when divorcing so that you have financial resources left over to start rebuilding your life.

Don’t forego legal help, but be selective

Even if you and your ex want to file an uncontested divorce, trying to handle the process on your own is often a mistake. Your ex could hire a lawyer at any point in the process, leaving you at a disadvantage. Additionally, if you try to handle everything on your own, you increase the risk of making mistakes that will require more time in court or possibly modification filings after your divorce decree.

When you find an attorney, be sure they have the same goals as you. If your priority is a quick and cost-effective divorce, make sure you don’t partner with someone who will push you into fighting over things you don’t care about.

Be realistic in your expectations for the divorce

One of the most noteworthy mistakes people make about divorce is trying to push for an outcome that isn’t possible. You aren’t going to be able to leave your spouse without any marital assets or deprive them of parenting time.

California will try to fairly split your community property. The courts will also do their best to create custody arrangements that prioritize the best interest of the children. Trying to fight for outcomes that deviate from the standard will increase your costs without likely altering the outcome.

Consider negotiating instead of litigating

The more time that you and your ex stand in the courtroom fighting over your assets and custody terms, the more you will incur in divorce costs.

Negotiating before you file can make the whole process faster and therefore more affordable. You could even go through mediation or arbitration if you need a little extra help reaching a compromise.

Keeping an eye on the bigger picture will help you make better choices before and during your divorce.


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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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