I’m all about making divorce affordable; did you know that the average cost of divorce is $15,000? That’s a lot of money! That has a big impact on your family’s financial status at a time when you really can’t afford it, and it put legal advice out of the reach of many, many people who need it. I know there’s a better way, a less costly way, and a more peaceful way to divorce. So today I’m going to talk about things you can do that will decrease the cost of your divorce, I’m going to talk about actions and attitudes that can increase the cost. They’re all things within your control so if you can master them, you will be able to reduce the financial impact of a divorce on your family.
10 actions that can increase the cost of your divorce:
#1) Rushing the process: because impatience actually slows the process down. You need a lot of financial information to make the very best decisions for yourself, and getting all of those documents together can take time.
#2) Trying to wrestle control of the process way from the professionals you’ve hired to help you: even though they know how to make a divorce process efficient. Trust them rely on them.
#3) procrastinating on doing the required tasks and getting your homework done: as I said a moment ago: you need lots of documentation of assets, and liabilities, and income, to make very good decisions and sometimes it takes time to gather all of those documents together.
#4) Cancelling appointments at the last minute: sometimes it’s very hard to reschedule an appointment in a timely fashion so that’s going to slow you down.
#5) Showing up at meetings without the information and documents that you were asked to bring. Again: this relates on everyone having sufficient information to make the best decisions they can.
#6) Refusing to get the emotional support you need: such as working with a divorce coach or a therapist to help navigate this very emotional time in your life. If you’re struggling emotionally you’re going to slow the divorce process down, usually unconsciously, but the result is that you’re stuck in it for longer than you need to be.
#7) Listening to street talk from your friends and family rather than relying on your divorce professionals: hear again, you need your family and friends for support, but you shouldn’t be taking legal advice from them. Every case is very fact-specific and their situation may not be similar to yours.
#8) Breaking trust by taking unilateral action regarding your assets or children: such as selling property, overspending, cancelling an insurance policy, enrolling children in an activity, this will surprise and scare you spouse, and they will dig in their heels and put a stop to the process.
#9) Arguing: arguing is expensive, you’ve heard me say it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again.
#10) Holding information after requests to produce it: again, no decisions are going to be made until adequate information has been produced, so withholding information is going to slow you down.
Okay, here’s your attitudes that can slow you down and increase the cost:
#1) Focusing on the past and trying to even the score in your divorce: doesn’t happen in a divorce process.
#2) Being overly focused on what is fair or equal, rather than what is acceptable: fair is where we go to ride the tilt-a-whirl and eat corndogs, and equality isn’t necessarily the best solution for you.
#3) Diminishing and blaming your spouse repeatedly during the process: blame solves nothing. We are moving forward with a focus on the future and not backwards, and there is usually plenty of blame to go around.
#4) Portraying yourself as being and doing all things right and your spouse as being and doing all things wrong, particularly with respect to children: this is an issue that really gets people stuck and unable to reach a resolution, don’t do that.
#5) Refusing to acknowledge that you also contributed to the breakdown of the marriage: this can keep you stuck emotionally, and will slow things down.
#6) Seeking judgement or revenge, and wanting to punish your spouse: Florida is a no-fault state, bad behavior is mostly irrelevant in a divorce case and it will get you stuck and moving nowhere.
#7) Focusing on what you don’t want instead of getting clarity on what you do want, or on insuring that your spouse doesn’t get what they want.
#8) Engaging in tit for tat/going low when your spouse goes low: This is a death spiral of mutually assured destruction and it will keep you mired in a terrible process for a very long time.
#9) Refusing to see that your spouse has a legitimate perspective.
#10) Related to that, thinking that if you see your spouses perspective you have to give up your own perspective: and that’s not the case at all. You can try to stand in your spouses shoes and you can try to make decisions that find acceptable resolutions for each of you because if your spouse isn’t getting an acceptable resolution, you’re not going to either.
I hope these tips help keep your divorce process cost under control and if you need more information, as always I’d love to speak to your personally. My phone number is (386) 271-8044 and there’s tons of information on my website at www.masterscdc.com