5 Ways an Uncontested Divorce Can Save You Thousands
To start, let me explain what I mean when I say “uncontested divorce”. I use this term, but you could call it an amicable divorce, peaceful divorce, or even a simple divorce. Essentially what I am referring to is a situation where you and your spouse have a pretty good idea of what you want to happen with your divorce, and you want to hire an attorney to make sure everything happens the way you want it to. Sometimes you are really close to an agreement, but simply need a short conversation with a lawyer to make sure you both feel comfortable that your agreement is in fact fair. This can still work as an uncontested divorce.
1. You only need to hire 1 lawyer.
A common situation among people getting a divorce is that you both are pretty much on the same page about what you want to happen with your divorce, but you both are a little paranoid that the other person might try to take advantage of you if they hire an attorney and you don’t. What many people do is they each hire their own lawyer and try to reach a quick resolution that way. Unfortunately, what often happens in these situations is that the lawyers start filling each person’s heads with all the ways in which they could get the most out of the shared items from the marriage, and before you know it you go from being in agreement on everything to fighting over who gets the items leftover in the refrigerator. With an uncontested divorce in Oregon, you are hiring one lawyer whose sole job is to simply put your agreement down into written form that is legally binding on both parties. There won’t be any pressure from our office to change the agreement the two of you reach. As you can see in our article 3 Ways to Keep Your Amicable Divorce From Getting Ugly Even After You Hire an Attorney, finding an attorney willing to work peacefully is an important part of the uncontested divorce and custody process.
2. You will pay us less than $1,000 for your entire divorce.
For uncontested divorces, Brasier Law charges a flat fee of less than $1,000 in most cases. This fee includes drafting all of the paperwork to your satisfaction, filing it, ensuring that it gets signed by a judge and registered with the court. In short, we handle everything from start of your divorce to the finish for less than $1,000.
3. Uncontested Divorces cost less than a mediator.
In some cases, mediators are necessary to help parties reach an agreement. If you are not close to an agreement, then often times hiring a mediator is necessary. However, if you are extremely close to an agreement, and both just feel the need to talk to someone to make sure you are not being taken advantage of in what you think is fair, then an uncontested divorce will cost you far less than it would to hire a mediator. A mediator’s job is to help you reach an agreement when you cannot do so on your own. Once you pay them for several hours of their time, and reach an agreement, then you still will need to either pay them to draft your paperwork, or hire someone else to convert the agreement into a divorce judgment. Hiring our firm to handle your uncontested divorce can be a far cheaper option than going through a formal mediation process.
4. Mistakes are Expensive.
It doesn’t matter how simple your divorce is, if you try to do the paperwork yourself you are almost guaranteed to make several key mistakes. The field of law is just too complex for someone, even someone very intelligent, to expect to be able to foresee all possible pitfalls without any experience. By hiring an attorney to do the paperwork for you, you can rest assured that your divorce will be enforceable and that your agreement will be properly recorded and ratified by a judge. This is particularly important if you own a home, are trying to transfer a retirement account, or looking to put an enforceable parenting plan in place for your children. A simple, unforeseen mistake can and will cost both of you, possibly as much as tens of thousands of dollars if not more to try and fix later on.
The thing to know about the law is once an order is signed by a judge, it is very difficult if not impossible to fix later. This is particularly true if more than a year has passed before you notice the problem. I can’t tell you how many heartbreaking calls I have received from people who tried to do their own uncontested divorce, only to call me years later asking how they go about fixing “X” problem that came up with their paperwork. Almost always my answer is “I’m sorry, but the law doesn’t let us go back and fix that now”. It is far better to invest a few hundred dollars now to get your paperwork done right, than it is to suffer the consequences of legal mistakes down the road.
5. Hiring an attorney is a better option than using a web based company like legal zoom.
Many people turn to web based companies such as legal zoom to help them with their uncontested legal paperwork. While legal zoom can be a viable option, you will essentially pay several hundred dollars to pay a program to auto-fill your answers into fixed boxes. Web based companies also offer the option, typically for a fee, of consulting with an attorney online via a chat box. While convenient, asking some questions into a box hardly equates to the ability to speak live to a real attorney who can not only address any concerns you have, but can also directly, themselves draft your divorce judgment to match the issues you need to address.
With web based companies, you are essentially paying them to fill out forms for you. They do not have the creativity or experience to take your particular set of circumstances and turn them into a workable divorce judgment that can provide you the stability you need. For the same reason as noted above, if you go with a reduced cost option like one of these web-based companies, it can cost you thousands if not more when unforeseen consequences arise.