Why should you budget for your divorce process?
We know that getting divorced is not an easy or cheap process for most. It's an emotional journey with legal and financial consequences.
Usually, you're dividing two households in two and having to rehouse yourselves elsewhere, which is an expensive process in itself. We have lots of tips on this in our podcast episode with HyperJar.
So if you're looking to save money, choosing the cheapest divorce process is tempting. Below, we look at reasons and situations why you might choose to spend more on professional help for your divorce.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY): £
You may have explored starting your divorce yourself on the government website. This is a great way of saving money and something we encourage if you have the time to invest in getting the application right so errors don't cause delays.
Remember : Divorcing doesn't end your financial relationship with your ex-partner meaning you remain financially tied together unless you get a 'clean break'. So you will still need to choose professional help with this part. Failing to protect yourself can prove to be an expensive mistake in the future.
Kitchen table agreement: ££
If you've sat down together and worked out how to divide any money, property, pensions, and other assets and debts, you've reached a 'kitchen table agreement'. If this is you and you want to get this documented and made legally binding in a consent order, a 'write-up' service might seem an obvious choice. However, here's where it pays to get expert insight from a negotiation service, mediation or stress-testing your agreement with a financial planner.
Not only will a judge need to check your agreement is fair, but your agreement will need to work for both of you now and in the future. Divorce doesn't solve your financial problems, but getting it wrong can lead to dangerous financial consequences.
Professional negotiation support £££
If you can’t decide whether you need or would benefit from professional negotiation support, think about what position you’d like to be in after separating from your partner. Whilst choosing to pay for external guidance and negotiation support might feel unnecessary, you can't put a value on being led through a process that leaves you in the best possible shape both financially and emotionally. Having your and your family's needs understood and prioritised by a specialist, ensures you’re able to reach an agreement that accommodates all of you, as well as putting you in a great position to parent apart if you have children.
As with any professional service, often it's a choice. Seeing a therapist, for example, might not seem like a necessary expense, however, therapy gives you the tools and resources to navigate challenges more effectively and efficiently, preventing things from spiralling out of control. In the same way, hands-on negotiation support will help you reach an agreement more effectively and quickly before letting things 'get worse' before reaching out for help.
Solicitors and going to court ££££
If you aren't able to reach an agreement and instruct solicitors, this will involve spiralling legal fees that don't include VAT. This can make people going through this feel out of control and inflame existing conflict, not putting couples on a good footing for parenting post-divorce. Going to court is even more costly, with final hearings costing thousands of pounds.
Ultimately, you will need to balance cost with value. What value does this process add or in some cases, detract from your life? Setting aside money, and budgeting for your professional help, might long-term add value to your lives post-divorce.
If you would like to speak to an amicable expert about your separation, please book a free 15-minute consultation.
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