Most spouses looking to end their marriage hope the process is smooth and speedy, but all too often divorce takes much longer than anticipated. The average divorce duration is one year, according to a report from Nolo, which also found that the median total divorce cost is $7,500. Of course, the longer the process is drawn out, the more each party may have to pay as a lawyer, can explain.
To save on time and money during a time that may be particularly tumultuous, here are three tips to expedite your divorce process.
1. Do Your Homework
Preparation is a crucial first step to embarking on any process, especially those most difficult. Getting a divorce is no exception.
Often adding to the stress of this trying situation is the variation in divorce laws among states. For example, state laws determine the official date of separation, as well as how long a couple must be legally separated before they can file for divorce. Before the process commences, learn as much as possible about the laws that exist where you will be filing.
During this time of preparation, it is also important to decide on exactly what you want. This can include dividing shared property or arrangements for child custody. The more you and your ex-spouse are able to discuss ahead of time, the faster the divorce process can be.
2. Consider Mediation
Among the fastest types of divorce are uncontested and mediated. If the situation permits, a conversation with your ex-spouse and a third-party mediator can help with resolution. Many couples who opt for mediated divorce come up with an agreement that can be sent straight to the court by the end of the process. As opposed to litigation, a mediated divorce usually saves on money, time and emotion.
3. Seek Legal Consultations
Whether pursuing a mediator or a lawyer, taking the time to find the right person to represent you is crucial. Lawyers often offer free initial consultations that serve as a two-way interview. This gives you the chance to decide if you should pursue his or her services and gives the attorney the chance to determine if he or she will be able to represent you.
The consultation is the time to discuss the personal details of your situation and to receive general advice on how the lawyer foresees the rest of the process playing out. This is also the time to discuss legal fees in order to prevent any surprises down the line. In addition to sharing key facts about the separation, be prepared to offer appropriate documents and ask any questions you have for the lawyer.
Contact a local divorce lawyer today to schedule a consultation before starting the divorce process.