There are inevitably some expenses associated with getting a divorce, but there are ways to save money. The #1 way to save money during the divorce is to be absolutely straightforward and honest with your attorney.
Why it Matters to Be Scrupulously Honest with Your Attorney
You may sincerely believe that it is not necessary to give certain information to your attorney. The truth is that you need to be scrupulously honest with your attorney about anything that may be even remotely connected with your divorce. A few important reasons for this include:
- Response to discovery. The soon-to-be ex-spouse will ask questions in a legal process called discovery. If any of those questions are not answered truthfully, you will have a credibility problem with the judge. One example is if you have a drinking problem, and your attorney learns about it for the first time in court. It is much better if your counsel can say to the court, “Our client has been in recovery for a drinking problem and has been sober for three months” than to be blindsided with this information at a court hearing and have no chance to respond.
- Inventory and Appraisement form. If anything is left off the Inventory form required to be completed in most cases, it again creates a credibility problem with the court. In addition, if you just list “vehicle” as an asset with no value assigned to it, your attorney or their staff will have to charge you for the time it takes to look up the year, make, model, mileage, etc., in order to obtain a correct value of the car. You could save yourself money by researching this information on a website such as www.kbb.com and including it in your inventory answers.
It becomes difficult to respond when the attorney is confronted by the opposition with information at a divorce hearing that the attorney has never heard before. In some cases, it may require your attorney to hire an expert witness to rebut the information, which increases costs that may not have been necessary if they had been forewarned of the issue.
Your attorney’s job is to help you through the divorce process. Honesty is always the best policy with your attorney and their staff and the best way to save on the cost of your divorce.