Divorce and save money? Match made in heaven!

Most of us think of filing for a divorce as an expensive and emotional process. While the latter is most certainly true, the former doesn’t have to be your reality. There are many ways to save throughout the divorce process so that you come out ahead—with or without the court ruling in your favour.

I realise this may be a bit of a dull or depressing post for most people (and hopefully something that most of us will not have to deal with) but I want this blog to cater for all reader types! Plus… it is always good to know this stuff – just in case!

Divorce and save money? Match made in heaven!

Save on Filing and Litigation Fees

Two of the biggest expenses you’ll encounter in the divorce process are the fees for filing petitions and paying your solicitor. But there are a few strategies you can employ to keep yourself from having to pay these exorbitant fees. First, allow your spouse to be the one to serve the papers; it may hurt your ego a little, but it will save you a whopping £340 upfront and maybe even the £45 you’ll need to obtain the decree absolute later on. If your relationship with your spouse is amicable enough to decide on child custody and divide up property and possessions, you may be able to handle the divorce yourselves or with just a bit of help from a mediation service to avoid paying hefty litigation fees.

Even if you decide to enlist the help of a solicitor, you can still get a cheap divorce. Make sure your personal assets and financial records are organised to assist in the case building process. Resist the urge to contact your lawyer over every question, concern, or doubt that comes to mind; instead, keep a list of these questions in-between visits and address them at your next meeting so that you won’t be blind-sighted by a large and expensive accumulation of billable hours.


Save Money on Debt

If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement about outstanding debt in the form of mortgages, car payments, and credit card bills, chances are good that the court will rule to split the debt 50/50 between spouses. As such, it may not be a good idea to move out of the house or give up the car—that is, unless your spouse agrees to assume full financial responsibility for the outstanding debt. If you end up with the house, consider selling furniture, electronics, books, and small appliances that are not wanted by either party to help offset the costs of the divorce.


Save Money on Assets

Joint bank accounts can present a huge problem in a divorce, so make sure your these accounts are frozen during the litigation process so that neither party can touch the funds. Open up new checking and savings accounts for the money you earn so that your spouse does not have access to them. And don’t forget the other assets you’ve shared as a couple when making your demands in the litigation process: frequent flyer miles, holiday properties, club memberships, subscriptions, and prepaid insurance can all be huge long-term money savers if you manage to work out an agreement with your spouse or get the court to rule in your favour.

Anyone got any tips or tactics to add?

This post was featured the Canadian Budget Binder, thank you!

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  1. frequent flyer miles lol do you think people really claim that? I want to hope for the best but be prepared for the worse, so I am not a fan of joint finances. BF and I have a property together, fully paid, and we put the same amount on a joint account to eat and pay bills. Other than that each one with his money. If things go wrong I can rent a new place instead of having all my money frozen!

  2. Interesting about the joint finances as we have both but only because I had to build credit when I moved to Canada. A friend of ours just finished her divorce and she did it on her own for $500. She did all the paper work, court runs etc and in about 6 months it was done and over with. She didn’t need a lawyer mind you there were no kids involved and no fights.

  3. Justin@TheFrugalPath says:

    I can’t speak for other countries, but in the U.S. even if you’re supposed to split debt 50/50 you’re still on the hook for your spouses debt if they don’t pay. A co-worker of mine ran into a problem where her husband ran up debt because of gambling. He didn’t pay his share and she was forced to pay for his half as well.

    • That’s true. Your creditors do not care that your spouse was given that debt in the divorce. If debt is going to cause a lot of problems between you and your soon-to-be-ex it can be a good idea to consider filing a joint bankruptcy prior to filing for divorce.

  4. Grave topic indeed. Actually I am in the process of writing an article about the practicality of pre-nups, to avoid financial strain just in case it turns from ‘happily ever after’ to a marriage broken and then dead broke. I have extremely mixed feelings about completely separate finances, however. After all, man and wife are supposed to function as a team.

    Btw, I was so sorry to hear about your hacking. Are you recuperating from everything all right?

  5. I hope I never find out! It is very rare that anyone gets a divorce and comes out great financially. It is always a real struggle for the people I know who have been through it.

  6. I’m with Tony, I hope I never have to go through a divorce!

  7. Yikes I have no idea. I can only say one thing about divorce: let your kids be kids and leave the out of all the messy details and resentments. I can only write about divorce as the child of divorced parents.

  8. The whole splitting debt thing is a massive grey area in my opinion. I know someone who left all the mortgage papers etc for her other half to do, then when they split up she found the house was in his name, but the mortgage in her name so she was still left paying for it. Ouch!

  9. I hope that I never have to go through this. It can be expensive and VERY messy. In the field I used to be in I’d see all sorts of tricks by former spouses trying to defraud the other, it was always so sad to see.

  10. This is definitely a hard topic to talk about but the unfortunate truth is 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. Thank you for the advice although I don’t plan on ever needing it.


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