Divorce Articles

How Negotiating Outside of Court Can Save You Money During A Divorce

A divorce can be just as financially exhaustive as it can be emotionally exhaustive. The more contentious a divorce proceeding is, the more attorney time and court time is incurred by the separating spouses. As a result, both sides are likely to experience increased attorneys’ fees.

Saving Time, Money & Stress During a Divorce

Negotiating the aspects of a divorce outside of court gives both parties an opportunity to openly attempt to negotiate issues pertaining to a divorce. If the parties fail to agree on any of these issues such as spousal support, child custody, support or asset division, then the court will make a decision which they feel puts both parties in a position they were before the marriage in terms of property and assets. These judgments are not often well received by either party and it's est to come to an agreement to avoid this outcome.

A divorce can be just as financially exhaustive as it can be emotionally exhaustive. The more contentious a divorce proceeding is, the more attorney time and court time is incurred by the separating spouses. As a result, both sides are likely to experience increased attorneys’ fees. This effect is not only limited to high-income or high-asset marriage but can be present in low- or disproportionate-income marriage, as well. 

Example: A marital estate valued at $100,000, if divided in equal shares, would result in each spouse leaving the marriage with $50,000. Let’s say the spouses rack up attorney bills totaling $40,000, to be paid prior to the distribution, each spouse is now leaving the marriage with only $30,000 ($100,000 - $40,000 = $60,000 / 2 = $30,000). 

Benefits of Negotiating the Terms of a Divorce

Where this effect may be felt the greatest is in a disproportionate income household. 

Example: Let’s say Spouse A has $90,000 in assets and Spouse B only has $10,000 in assets ($100,000 total marital estate which again, if divided in equal shares in $50,000 per party). Spouse B then files a petition seeking to have Spouse A pay for some of their attorney’s fees in order to adequately participate in the process.

Spouse A is then ordered to pay $10,000 toward Spouse B’s attorney’s fees, as an advance to Spouse B’s marital estate share. Let’s further say that Spouse A incurs a total of $20,000 in attorney’s fees. Combined with the award to Spouse B’s attorney, a total of $30,000 has been spent in attorney’s fees reducing the total available marital estate to $70,000. Again, if divided equally, each spouse now is only leaving the marriage with $35,000. 

While the process can be emotional and uncomfortable for the parties, it can also be amicable and peaceful. That’s not to say that no divorce or part thereof can be contentious.

Obviously, if it weren’t for irreconcilable differences, the parties wouldn’t be at this stage.  However, It is important to acknowledge the advice of your attorney and to give said advice its proper consideration as it is being given based on the attorney’s knowledge and experience and, in some scenarios, will have the potential to save you considerable amounts of money that may otherwise be spent on the divorce process.

Please feel free to contact us at (708) 299-5827 or frank@serritellalaw.com to discuss your family law matters.

Do you have an imminent court date? Don't hesitate to contact us.

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