A major concern of divorcing couples is the cost of the divorce. The bottom line is that the more adversarial the couple is the more the divorce will cost. The more the spouses fight about issues the more expensive the divorce will be.
Asking the court to settle issues that the spouses could settle between themselves costs money. Motions are filed. The other party responds. Court time must be reserved. All these things are costly. The cost of divorce depends almost entirely on how much the couple fights and how willing they are to settle the issues amicably between them outside of court.
Avoid the “Tupperware Wars”
The cost of divorce is driven by the parties’ willingness to set aside their anger and to start making good and logical decisions. Paying attorneys to fight with each other over something the couple could resolve between them does not make sense.
Spouses often argue over the division of petty items that can be easily replaced. I refer to these fights as the Tupperware Wars. There are sensible ways to divide or replace these items without court intervention.
For example, the parties fight over who gets an asset when it would be less expensive for them to let the other party have it and for them to go buy a new one. People fight over things like who gets the Monopoly game? Who gets the everyday dishes? Who gets the Tupperware? It is far less expensive to buy (new dishes, Monopoly game or Tupperware) than to pay for drawn-out court appearances where the court is forced to make a decision that neither party may be happy with.
Suggestions for Dividing Heirlooms and Other Expensive Items
There may be heirlooms of sentimental value that cannot be replaced. Perhaps the couple owns a grand piano or antique cars. These items need to be appraised and a monetary value attached to them. This still may not resolve the emotional issues attached to the items.
A spouse may need counseling to deal with the emotions involved in the divorce and over items with sentimental value. That is not the role of the attorney who has no training in that area. My office has a list of good counselors I feel confident recommending. I work with my clients to find someone who is on their healthcare provider list. In a divorce case it is better to have the attorneys work on the legal issues and allow those who are qualified to counsel to do so.
In reaching an out of court settlement the only time the court hears from the clients is at the final hearing. The court will likely congratulate the parties on working well together to get it done without the court’s intervention.
For assistance on asset division and any other aspect of your divorce process, contact me, Laurie Schmitt, at Schmitt Law, PLLC. I am an Attorney, Mediator, and Collaborative Divorce lawyer.