Everybody wants to divorce for less. Less of a cost, that is. But there is a fine balance between a job well done and getting what you pay for. Most people I talk to want it all, the information, the guidance around their rights and obligations and all their disclosure documents tied up in a nice bow….for no cost. Well, it isn’t a perfect world but there are some ways you can mitigate costs and still get all the service. Want to know how…keep reading.
In Ontario, at least (and likely most areas), on the financial side of things your lawyers will want your financial disclosure. Sure, you and your spouse can both start with the Financial Statement document which is a legal document outlining your financial picture. Your spouse is going to do the same exercise with their lawyer. Then both lawyers are going to compare and merge these two documents into another legal financial disclosure so that the two of you can begin your financial negotiations.
How much all of the above is going to cost you is really up to how much your lawyer charges and how many back and forth phone calls you will experience if there are any discrepancies in each financial disclosure. OR you can hire a Financial Divorce Specialist to prepare the one document that compares your financial picture and skip the initial Financial Statement and save yourself lots of cash. Your lawyers may want a budget from you (but not always) and your Financial Divorce Specialist can help with that too.
So now that you and your spouse have worked with a Financial Divorce Specialist to prepare the joint disclosure ( and you don’t even have to talk or see each other, if you don’t want to) and you have the legal financial instrument in your had to take to your lawyer. The very same one your spouse has….which mitigates the back and forth lawyer conversations…and cost, right? Now the lawyers can do the ‘lawyering’ which allows you to have the legal guidance that you need.
Many lawyers in my area will send their clients to me to prepare these documents in order to save their clients some money. I do the necessary collection of data so they can do the lawyering. It all works out rather well. So if you are thinking about a family transition and you and your spouse want to save cost, consider having a Financial Divorce Specialist prepare your financial disclosure documents. Then hire the lawyer to help you understand what is rightfully yours under family law once they know which assets are on the table.