Ways to Waste Money in Divorce

money, divorce costs, DuPage County Family Law AttorneyIt finally happened. After months of battling with yourself over making the decision, you have, at last, filed a petition for divorce. You are an intelligent person, so you knew that divorce was going to incur expenses, and a few may even be substantial, but you understood there was little you could do to avoid some costs. In fact, you even took the precautionary step of retaining a divorce attorney, an investment you believe to be well worth the expense. Now, the divorce proceeding are officially underway and how you handle the next few months can have a significant impact on your personal ledger sheet.

For a very large number of couples, the financial considerations of divorce represent a very reasonable concern. Many couples live essentially paycheck to paycheck and may be overwhelmed at the thought of adding additional financial obligations, despite their desire to end the marriage. While it is certainly true that every divorce situation will incur some level of expense, there are a number of common situations that can result in unnecessary increases in the cost of divorce.

1. Be Unprepared

As you approach your divorce, it is important to clearly understand three things: what you have, what you owe, and what you want. What you have and what you owe, obviously, are vital factors in the division of marital property. “What you want” refers to developing a clear goal in the divorce process, including financial considerations, child custody arrangements, and spousal support. You may not get exactly what you ask for, but you will be working from a clear starting point.

If you are unsure of what you have, what you owe, and what you want, the entire process comes to a halt. You will be forced to spend extra hours with your attorney or before the court as you attempt to stumble your way to a decision. Extra hours cost money, and if you do not know what you want, you may not get much at all.

2. Fight over Everything

Divorce is not a contest. It is the legal dissolution of a civil arrangement designed to help both parties move forward with their lives. Spouses who feel the need to “win” the divorce have trouble letting go of less important issues, and would rather stand and fight over details than address more vital concerns.

This is not to say that you should not fight for what matters to you, but to save money, ensure that what matters is truly important. If you want to spend hours fighting to protect your child’s best interest, fine; if you want to file eight motions over an end-table you bought a garage sale last summer, you may be wasting time and money.

3. Call Your Lawyer Several Times per Day

A well-seasoned divorce attorney will be sure to reach out to you when important developments occur or when something additional is needed. Likewise, you should extend the same courtesy to him or her. Yes, you are a paying client and you have the right to expect your attorney to be attentive to your needs, but if you are calling multiple times each day or each week, your needs may be a bit excessive. You will likely feel the same way about your lawyer’s bill when it arrives.

4. Refuse to Comply with the Court

Failure to follow directions or deadlines issued by the judge is not only excellent way to cost you money during the divorce, it can also create challenges once the divorce has been finalized. Once an order or directive has been issued, it is your responsibility to remain in compliance with it. Missing deadlines or defiance of the court can result in substantial financial penalties, and can even affect the outcome of the proceedings.

There are many ways to waste money throughout the divorce process, but an experienced DuPage County family law attorney may be able to help you avoid many of them. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., today to schedule a free initial consultation. We will work with you at every turn to ensure that your financial future is properly protected.

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