Getting married is cheap. Really. Although most people have a costly ceremony and reception with family and friends, in reality, it costs $35 to get married in Denver. All you really need to pay for is the marriage license itself.
Getting divorced on the other hand – not so cheap.
Why is divorce so expensive? The simple truth is that divorces are expensive because the parties can’t agree. They use the divorce process to throw jabs, punches, and anything else they can pick up at each other. They fight over a painting worth less than $50 not because either one really wants it, but because the painting represents what a terrible person their spouse is and how to make his or her life miserable.
Spouses will pay lots of money to keep fighting with each other. I’ve always said the only winners in a divorce are the attorneys. And believe me, there are plenty of attorneys who will not only let the fighting continue but will encourage it – because it means more money for them. I hate that my profession has such a bad rap when it comes to divorce, but, sadly, in many ways, it’s deserved.
So how can you cut down on the cost of getting divorced? Be civil.
Look, I get it – your spouse is a jerk. Your marriage is broken, and you’re hurt and angry. But that doesn’t mean you should keep ripping open the wound and pouring salt in it just to get back at your ex. What’s that really going to achieve? Although painful, a divorce is your opportunity to start over. Focus on the future rather than the past. Work civilly with your spouse to divide the assets fairly and move on. There is no reason to go drag out a divorce for a longer period of time than your relationship actually lasted. (And yes, that actually happens.)
Here are a few things you can do before meeting with an attorney to reduce the time and money you spend getting divorced:
- Discuss and agree with your spouse on how you will divide major assets, like property, vehicles, bank accounts, and any other valuable property.
- Discuss and agree with your spouse if one of you will ask for maintenance and how much that will be.
- If you have children, discuss and agree with your spouse on how you will split parenting time. Consider what the standard schedule will be and how it might change for summers, holidays, and vacations.
- If you have children, discuss and agree with your spouse on how major decisions about the children will be made.
- If you have children, discuss and agree with your spouse if one of you will provide child support. Use the Colorado Child Support Worksheet as a guide.
If you’re looking to get divorced in Colorado, ask yourself what your goal is. If you’re ready to move on and want to end this chapter as painlessly as possible, schedule a free consultation today. I offer affordable, flat-rate fees for divorce so you know exactly what it will cost upfront.
If you’d rather drag your spouse through the mud and take him or her for every penny you can, I’m probably not the right lawyer for you. Luckily, I’m sure you can easily find another lawyer who will help you achieve that goal.
Lastly, if you want to learn more about how to make divorce even cheaper, see why I believe everyone should have a prenup.
This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.
Lauren Lester is an affordable family law, estate planning, and probate lawyer licensed in Colorado.