It can be hard to deal with divorce from an entirely rational viewpoint, but letting your emotions get the better of you can hurt your wallet more than your pride.
Your best option is to be as honest as possible – don’t try to hide your assets – no matter how badly you’d hate to share them with your ex – as this will only take more time and money to sort out and is TOTALLY ILLEGAL.
Failing to agree over the division of family assets (such as the family home, a business and pension funds), child custody and support and even personal items like CD collections or pets can also cause fees to skyrocket, especially if both parties reach a stalemate over who gets to keep Harry the hamster
How to negotiate:
Collaborative law is growing in popularity. Rather than attorneys exchanging a series of angry (and expensive) letters as they negotiate the terms of the settlement and ending up in court if they can't agree, instead both parties sit down with their respective attorneys to, if possible, work out the terms of the settlement. This only works if both sides are prepared to be constructive and, again, make full-disclosure of their assets. It is an “all cards on the table” exercise but, if successful, can reduce the legal costs of divorce considerably.
Collaborative law is not dissimilar to mediation, although this has proven unpopular with couples as there is usually only one mediator involved who can give advice to both parties, meaning one often feels short-changed at the end of the process.
In collaborative law, your attorney is present during the meetings and if a settlement can’t be reached, the same attorney can’t go on to represent you in court, thus eliminating any incentive to draw out the process in hope of a larger fee.
Protect your assets:
If you are experiencing an emotional or bitter divorce then make sure, if you do choose to get married again, that you’re prepared for the worst. A prenup, is a worthwhile consideration particularly where one party is bringing significant assets into the marriage. It is intended that the prenup would provide the couple with a framework for dividing the assets on a divorce. (read more on pre-nups) Finally, no matter how betrayed you feel, or how bitter the divorce, it is almost always best to grin and bear the pain even after the proceedings are over rather than harbour a grudge into eternity.
The benefit of couples dealing with matters amicably is that this will hopefully enable them to communicate sensibly with their former spouse in the future. Many divorcing couples seem to forget that, following the resolution of the proceedings between them, that they may still need to have contact with their former spouse, particularly where children are involved. (read more on child custody) Generally where the couple have conducted the proceedings amicably, there seems to be a better prospect of them avoiding further disputes with their former spouse. (read more on hidden assets)
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