At Utah Divorce Coaching & Consulting, our primary focus is helping you achieve the divorce results you deserve without "breaking the bank" or causing you to take on unnecessary expense. Divorce is already tough and expensive. The question is how can one control costs? The answer is with (1) thorough preparation; and (2) communication.
The key to controlling costs and expenses in divorce is education and preparation. Learn as much as possible about the divorce process before starting it. The biggest mistake people make in divorce is hitting the nuclear button at the outset. It is a great way to enrich divorce lawyers. But it is also a terrible way to end a relationship especially if you have children as it will all but ensure an acrimonious relationship with your soon-to-be-ex.
The more prepared you are for divorce, the better you will fare. Think of it like preparing for a wind storm. Just as you probably won't want to face a hurricane unprotected, you won't want to face a divorce unprepared. To be prepared, get educated on the Utah divorce process and the fourteen most common issues in divorce. Know what forms need to be completed, what documents need to be gathered, and what information needs to be collected.
Decide on a Method for Divorce
True uncontested divorces are rare. For those with no (or grown) children and few to no assets, an uncontested divorce may be possible. In order for it to work, however, both parties must be fully on board and willing to sign divorce papers.
1. Collaborative Divorce
If you have children and/or you have property to divide, you may wish to consider a collaborative divorce. The collaborative divorce process is a legally recognized method to divorce, but it is purely voluntary. The State of Utah officially adopted the Uniform Collaborative Law Act in 2010. Often, a collaborative resolution is formed before anything is filed with the court. But if a matter has already been filed, the collaborative rules permit a court to stay the proceedings pending the outcome or resolution of collaborative efforts.
2. Pre-Suit Direct Negotiation
We use a "pre-suit direct negotiation method" with our uncontested services. What this means is all paperwork necessary to effect an uncontested divorce is created, together with a proposed legal stipulation or agreement. You can use direct negotiations with your spouse to finalize your stipulation. Then, when both parties have signed on the dotted line, you are ready to file your case with the court. In other words, your official agreement resolving the case is filed on the same day your case is initiated. This averts the adversarial process and allows the parties to freely communicate without "lawyering up." But, like collaborative divorce, a directly negotiated divorce is also voluntary.
Collaborative divorce and the direct negotiation approach are non-adversarial methods that keep families out of the courtroom. Sometimes, however, litigation is necessary. If your spouse is unable to agree to either the direct negotiation or collaborative approach, or unwilling to cooperate with information sharing, you may need to file a litigated case.
We are a Utah law firm. As such, we can only help one side to a divorce. We cannot advise both you and your spouse. Download our exit strategy tool kit to kick start your divorce preparation process now.