By Dina Haddad
Divorce is expensive. That fact cannot be overlooked.
As a full-time family law litigator and mediator for over a decade, I know a thing or two about divorce costs. The financial costs are bad enough—but many forget about the emotional and psychological costs.
Case after case, I see people who are driven to the brink. Who are tired, stressed and absolutely wrung out.
Take one case—a lady called Jeanette (not her real name for legal reasons). She had already spent $25k on legal fees—after her lawyer promised her it would be over quickly and cost no more than $5k.
She could have saved $25k—if only she’d found me sooner.
“Unforeseen” Legal Fees That Somehow Always Show Up
Jeanette came into contact with me at her wit’s end. She’d already spent half her savings on a lawyer—with no end in sight.
She was reassured that she was taking the right route when the lawyer said she had a strong case, and that everything would be over quickly. But after just a week of the lawyer’s time, she’d already spent close to $5k.
And nothing had been done.
The temporary hearing—where everything is just getting started, is often a waste of time. And that’s what Jeanette had paid for.
Six months later, no settlement had been reached. And Jeanette was out $25k.
That’s because lawyers charge for their time. Time spent traveling, waiting, idle time, inefficient time—all billed. And after spending years on a degree, they have every right to.
But when you don’t have the money to pay—especially at the end of a long battle, you could lose your house (I’ve seen this happen).
The Story So Far
First, there are 4 routes to go when considering a divorce. Litigation, Mediation, Collaborative and DIY.
Jeanette went for an option that made sense—Collaborative. But after negotiations failed, she had no choice but to go for litigation.
You know the old saying “you get what you pay for?” Well, Jeanette didn’t know at the time that it didn’t apply in this case.
Because after court mediation, 3 temporary hearings, a court settlement conference, and 3 days for a long cause hearing, she still had no resolution. And there was no end in sight. She had completely lost control of her divorce case.
So I suggested a simple video to Jeanette. Once she’d watched it, she was ready to take the rest of the divorce on herself. And probably saved herself $30k in additional legal fees—since she was able to do it without the lawyers.
If you’d like to see the video I sent Jeanette, you can find it here.
Jeanette assumed that her ex husband was enjoying proceedings. Enjoying the suffering he was causing her. Little did she know that he was also suffering.
Divorce is hard on both parties.
So after watching the video, she decided to take my course — it was a lot cheaper than a lawyer, after all.
Armed with the new knowledge, she approached her husband tentatively. To her surprise, he immediately accepted her proposal—which was to drop the lawyers and settle things themselves.
From here, resolution came quickly. There was a little back and forth, but in the end they agreed to a settlement that suited both of them.
If only Jeanette had found me earlier, they both could have saved tens of thousands on lawyer fees.
The Difficulty of Approaching an Ex Partner
Once a divorce battle has started, it can be hard to find the best way to approach your spouse. Emotions run high, there’s confusion, and legal issues we don’t quite understand.
And that’s what this video—and my course—solves. Divorce doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are educated and have the right tools, you can successfully divorce without the headache of attorneys and court.
Jeanette finally had the confidence to approach her spouse, and solve things not only in a cheaper and more civilized way, but also regain control of her divorce.
So if you’re facing a similar problem right now, I recommend that you watch this video. It breaks down the four simple steps for a divorce.
A Closer Look at the Routes You Can Take in a Divorce
When you’re facing divorce, it’s good to know your options, so here’s a breakdown of the four routes you can take.
This is by far the most expensive option. It’s complicated and you’ll need a lawyer to navigate the mess of laws and by-laws that accompany this option in the state of California.
The worst part about this route is not having any direct control over the results. It’s up to the lawyers and, at the end of the day, up to the judge to make a call.
Collaborative divorces can also be expensive. This involves having a team of professionals: attorneys for each of you, a forensic accountant and a parenting professional that agree never to go to court and to work with you to settle your divorce.
It’s great to have professionals helping you, but the downside having so many people involved—it quickly gets very expensive, and can drag on for years.
But, again, at least you have some form of control over the results.
This is where you get a third party—known as a mediator—involved. Mediation is far more affordable than the previous options. For mediation to be successful, you need a great mediator that can help you and your spouse communicate well and lets you and your spouse control the results. Lawyer fees are kept to a minimum (consultation only), and this keeps you from paying more than one legal professional.
By far the cheapest option—and often delivers better results than the other options when you have the right resources.
You have full control here, and often don’t need the help of a lawyer or mediator. But you’ll still need to learn the divorce process and the laws that relate to you—so you may need legal advice—which, again, can quickly scale into the thousands of dollars.
But the thing is, you don’t need a lawyer. You only need the basics—which you can easily learn.
A great starting point for your own divorce—and to save tons of money and stay in control of your divorce—is to watch the video that I recommended to Jeanette.
In it, you’ll learn 4 necessary steps for every divorce. You can watch it free here.
Divorces Can Be Expensive—But They Don’t Have to Be
As a family law attorney with a Master’s in Alternative Dispute Resolution, I’ve been working with divorce cases for over a decade.
And in my professional opinion, divorces can be unnecessarily expensive. If you don’t have tons of cash in reserve, I highly recommend taking one of the more affordable options.
Divorce doesn’t have to be such an ordeal.
© 2020 The Complete Divorce