How to Save Money While Going Through a Divorce in Pennsylvania
Getting a divorce might be the most emotionally exhausting process you will ever encounter. Unfortunately, the process can also end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, particularly depending on Pennsylvania’s specific regulation and requirements. There are, however, preventative measures that you can take to minimize the economic damage. If you’re wondering how to save money while going through a divorce in Pennsylvania, read on.
Understand the Legal Process
Once you and your partner have decided that getting a divorce is the best option for your relationship, you should consider learning the legal factors and implications that will transpire throughout the endeavor. There are local Pennsylvania laws you should understand, which can potentially save you money simply by understanding them.
A common example of this includes avoiding extra legal fees simply by submitting the required legal documents to the appropriate location the first time. Depending on the jurisdiction where your case will be handled, take a look at the corresponding webpage. Often, Pennsylvania courthouse websites will have checklists and forms readily available for anyone to use, at no cost. Print these out and review them before contacting a legal professional.
Pennsylvania laws about marital and divorce procedures can be quite complex. Obtaining a report from someone who has experienced the process can make things easier for you. Speak to family friends or acquaintances who have gone through the process. Speaking to someone who has gone through a divorce process, especially one that also took place in Pennsylvania, can help you understand the procedure. You may be able to ask them questions or they may offer tips and advice which helped them. Getting someone else’s perspective can also give you an opportunity to see things you might not have otherwise considered.
One of the most beneficial aspects of knowing the process before you even begin it is that you will be able to compile a list of questions and concerns you can ask your attorney, which undoubtedly could save you money. Being prepared will not only ease and potentially speed up the process, it can also help the entire ordeal be less strenuous.
While your friends and family members might have a certain experience in regard to the divorce process, even following the same Pennsylvania regulations, it is still in fact their divorce process. The only one who will be able to tell you with exactitude what will emerge out of your case is the qualified attorney you have hired.
A mediated divorce can be significantly cheaper than disputing your case in court. It is also less costly than hiring two separate attorneys who will negotiate the divorce terms on behalf of both parties. A mediated divorce will usually involve a single Pennsylvania attorney who will then serve as a neutral negotiator for both individuals. This attorney will help the divorcing couple separate in a realistic and agreeable way. The divorce process can be a complicated matter. Every divorcing couple will try to find what works best for them. If mediation is not convenient, other less costly options include:
- A collaborative divorce. Both parties contract separate attorneys and ultimately decide to work cooperatively in order to find the least costly and impartial terms.
- An uncontested divorce. Both parties will agree to all terms and conditions in a divorce amongst themselves and will hire an attorney only for the filing proceedings.
Have a Professional Appraise Your Belongings
Another great way to prepare is by having a professional appraise all of your assets. Items which should be appraised include, but are not limited to:
- Properties and real estate,
- Bank accounts,
- Other personal items of value.
An attorney will likely have you do this, so having it done beforehand will take away any time pressures which will help you find a reasonably priced professional to make these assessments. Staying ahead will not only save you money, it will also contribute to a more peaceful and relaxed state of mind during such a turbulent procedure.
Call Your Therapist, Not Your Attorney
There are so many emotions involved in a divorce procedure. Divorcees should seek others outside of the relationship to vent to when experiencing emotional distress. If the divorce process is getting the best of you, do not call your attorney every time you feel upset. Most attorneys will charge an hourly rate which can quickly amount to hundreds of dollars. If you feel angered or frustrated about a certain situation developing in the midst of the divorce, call a therapist. A therapist can help you process your emotions, which is much better for you (and cheaper) than venting to your attorney. Many therapists are also covered by most health insurance companies, which will bring the cost down to a minimum.
Unless it is Completely Inevitable, Do Not Change Your Attorney
You may feel like changing your attorney halfway through your divorce process. Perhaps you discovered that he or she was not the right fit for you. If this is the case, know that changing your attorney once the process has begun can be very costly. The change will also undoubtedly be time consuming and could set the entire process behind. It’s best to stick with the same divorce attorney throughout the process if possible.
The Bottom Line
A Pennsylvania divorce can easily be as expensive as it is traumatic. This is especially true if you must go through a trial to resolve differences over the assets you and your soon-to-be former spouse shared. Keep in mind that if you are looking for how to save money while going through a divorce, there are several money-saving methods available.