A long, tedious, emotionally-fuelled, and expensive divorce is battling it out through the courts.
If you want a quick divorce, you must be prepared to agree with your spouse on all issues. This means you will have to compromise on some of the issues – but compromise may well be worth it for a quickie divorce. Besides going to court may go against you.
If you and your spouse hire a lawyer for your divorce, each of you will have legal bills which could amount to thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those fees are paid from your and your spouse’s assets. That said, if you come to a fast agreement on the issues, you can keep your legal fees reasonable.
An alternative to hiring lawyers is using a divorce service.
If you have to compromise $10 or $20 thousand dollars, this could be a smart investment in the long run.
That said, if your divorce matter is complicated with many assets at stake and complex child custody issues, then hiring a divorce lawyer may be your only option.
If you’re prepared to compromise in order to arrive at a speedy agreement on all divorce issues in order to get a quickie divorce, then take the following steps.
7 Tips for a Quickie Divorce
1. Determine Whether You Will Represent Yourself or Hire a Lawyer?
Decide this early and be prepared to discuss it with your spouse. If your spouse hires a lawyer, you may wish to do the same. However, if you’re keen on avoiding large legal bills, broach the option about not hiring a lawyer with your spouse explaining how much money could be spent.
2. Prepare a Detailed List of Your Joint Assets
Once you have your list, then decide what is an equitable split. Be detailed about this. Don’t forget about pensions, income, stocks, retirement funds, credit cards, savings account(s), safety deposit boxes, and personal property (cars, furniture, etc.).
At some point, you’ll need an appraisal of your real estate. You will want to discuss this with your spouse to see if you can agree on an appraiser. It costs less to hire one appraiser than two.
Set out the assets you and your spouse brought into the marriage (if any).
3. Have a Firm Grasp of Your Monthly Expenses & Income
Know how much money you and your spouse earn and spend each month. Don’t forget child expenses if you have kids.
Then, figure out individual monthly expenses when you live apart from your spouse. Chances are, the total monthly expenses will be more than when living together.
4. Put Together a Parenting Plan if You have Kids
Child custody is one of the most difficult issues in divorce. Put together a realistic parenting plan including who will have day-to-day care and control of your kids. Other issues to consider:
- Will you have joint custody or will one parent have full custody?
- What are the proposed access provisions for the parent who does not have day-to-day care and control?
- Are there any extraordinary child expenses?
5. Have a Plan for The Family Home
Do you want to retain the family home? Who will live in it other than the kids? Will there a buy-out or will you both remain on title?
6. Consider Mediation as Part of the Process
If you and your spouse can’t agree entirely, consider hiring a family law mediator to help hammer out the details. This can be an effective way to resolve your differences. A good family law mediator should know the current divorce laws in your state or province and therefore give you both guidance as to possible outcomes in court.
7. Consider a Divorce Service
If you and your spouse don’t wish to hire lawyers, you may achieve a quickie divorce with the assistance of a divorce service. A divorce services completes all the paperwork for you fairly quickly. This saves you time in trying to figure out how to prepare the divorce documents. If you make mistakes, you’ll delay the process.
What Not To Do?
Don’t hide assets. Don’t lie about assets. If discovered, and your matter goes to court, this could result badly for you and may prolong the process significantly. Moreover, misrepresenting to the court may have long-term adverse consequences.
Also, if you don’t have day-to-day care and control of the kids, the child support you pay is typically set out in your divorce jurisdiction’s child support guidelines. This is based on your and your spouse’s gross incomes, plus any extraordinary child expenses.
Getting a Quick Divorce in a Nutshell
Coming to agreement on all issues with your spouse is the surest way to achieve a quick divorce. Hiring a lawyer may speed up your divorce, but if you’ve come to agreement on all issues, you’re likely eligible to use a divorce service to complete your divorce documents quickly.
No matter how quickly you want a divorce, there will be court processing times that will result in some form of delay. There may also be laws that require you and your spouse live separate and apart for a specified time before your divorce order is granted. These are unavoidable delays.
Nevertheless, planning and agreement are the paths to getting a quick divorce.