Today’s Featured Comment
When VN member “Anonymous” asked for divorce advice, Chris shared a less expensive alternative to hiring a divorce attorney:
Well you are on your way toward creating a new life for yourself! Not easy, but if you are like me, your exhilaration from finally making the decision far outweighs your concerns at this point about the challenges ahead.
It’s now been 10 months since I moved out of our house and into my condo. We are just now working on the divorce. BEFORE you think about getting an attorney I want to make suggestion. Since you two are empty nesters, your divorce settlement is simply a financial agreement the two of you make. Instead of both of you getting attorneys, and having them battle it out with each other while draining your pocketbooks, the two of you go together to see a Certified Financial Planner/Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. That’s what my husband and I are doing! Basically this guy is “the expert” divorce attorneys call in to help them with their settlements.
A top divorce attorney and close friend, strongly suggested this route. Bill, the expert we are seeing, takes all the financial information we provide him about our situation, will review it thoroughly, then will give us his recommendations on what would be fair, and meet our state’s divorce laws. He charges $250/hr and his retainer is $2,500. He said he has no interest in prolonging the process as attorneys would ( his primary business is financial planning). He expects to come back with his recommendations within a week or so of receiving our financial information.
If my husband and I disagree with his recommendations, he can present some alternatives and provide mediation. Once we agree he produces a “blueprint” with charts etc that spells out the agreement. At that point either a para-legal or two attorneys can file for us. Bill and my divorce attorney friend have both offered to give us the names of attorneys who aren’t litigious but who will basically review what we’ve agreed to and ensure it looks okay. We hope to save many thousands of dollars this way!
In our state, attorneys are allowed to charge as much as 7% I believe of your total assets on fees. I have heard so many horror stories of attorneys milking clients. I will let you know how it goes. I would definitely look into it yourself. I became more convinced it was the way to go when my divorce attorney friend ( who is highly respected) recommended Bill, who he has used many years as an expert.
[This recommendation was originally posted in this conversation. ~ Eds.]
What advice would you give a friend who was going through a divorce?