Divorce is expensive. We won’t lie to you. It often costs more for a divorce than many people spend on their actual weddings. It’s the costly demolition of something you’ve been building for years (many times) and it’s complicated, messy, and painstakingly tedious. It takes longer to get a divorce, even if it’s uncontested, than it does to get married. People don’t want to pay for a divorce because it’s something they didn’t expect and sometimes didn’t want to happen. They rarely feel at fault for the dissolution of their marriage and don’t understand why they’re caught in a costly process now because of their spouse.
However, even though you don’t want to pay for the divorce, even if you think you can handle the actual litigation or paperwork yourself, your children, pets, and finances depend on you taking the best steps necessary to hire someone who knows the ins and outs of the divorce process. Since you aren’t risking getting locked up (hopefully) and having your freedom denied, you aren’t guaranteed an attorney by the state, so here are a few ways you can pay for a divorce:
- Budget Better: Starbucks isn’t a necessity. I know, I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes too, but they aren’t necessary even if you think they’ll make the emotional trauma of a divorce better (it’s only a temporary fix!). If you cut back in a few areas of your spending from month to month, you’ll be able to hire someone efficient and knowledgeable to handle the drama for you. When it’s all over and done, then go get a latte, stop by the nail place, and buy some shoes on the way home.
- Dip into Savings: You know you hate to see all that hard work dissipate because someone decided to have sex with the babysitter, but in the long run, it’s worth it. You can replenish your savings, but losing your retirement or your children because you didn’t want to pay for an attorney is not worth it!
- Get a Loan: You can actually get a loan depending on your credit to cover your divorce. The specifics of this depend on your financial situation and the bank, but sometimes if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, yet you have good credit, it might be the best bet.
- Friends, Family Members, Church members: If your spouse is making you miserable, there’s a good chance those closest to you see it too. They want to help you become a happy person again. They probably would’ve preferred to help you out of the situation a long time ago. Truthfully, there’s a good chance, if it weren’t socially unacceptable, they would’ve given you a gift card for a divorce as a wedding present.
- Credit Card: Yes, we, and most lawyers, take credit cards. Sometimes it’s okay to just charge it. Get a lawyer, get the process going properly, and then pay it off as you go.
- Have your Spouse pay for it: This is iffy. A lot of times if someone did a dirty deed, or if they’re wanting out because they want to get remarried, they’ll dish out the cash to get a quick divorce. Make sure if they are paying for it, that you have your own attorney. They can give you the money for you to get advice, but do not allow them to pay for it and then you go unrepresented. You need to know your rights.
- Find a Lawyer who will work with you: We know plenty of lawyers who charge a $10,000.00 retainer immediately. For most of us, that’s just not doable. Look for a lawyer who will talk to you, look over your finances, and help you with a payment plan that works for BOTH of you. Don’t look for a hand out or for a free lawyer, because we need to be paid for our advice and hard work, but look for someone who is sympathetic to your cause.