No one enjoys going through a divorce, and such a process may include a variety of third parties such as a child support lawyer, a judge, concerned friends and family members, and more. If your divorce is going to require the aid of professionals, you are advised to find ways to how to save money while moving and adjusting your post-marital life. Each divorce is different, and yours may or may not involve your relocation to a new residence. But you will not be alone; around 43 million Americans move each year, often those in their 40s or younger. So, how to save money while moving? This is important for many reasons, one of them being the fact that a divorce lawyer can be costly to hire.
Choose Your Means of Divorce Wisely
When it comes to how to save money while moving, there are some steps you can take before divorce papers are even filed at all. On TV, you may have seen many examples of fictional or real divorces that involve drama, objects thrown in anger, child custody lawyers, and a dramatic court scene. Sometimes, divorce really does play out something like that, but yours might not. Be aware that you and your spouse are not compelled to hire lawyers for your divorce or go to court for this matter. It is costly, and it is possible that neither of you can afford all that, and you may not like how public a court-based divorce is, either.
Besides, some divorces are relatively simple and low-conflict, which means you may be able to save money through mediation services instead of heading to court. This is a matter of discretion, but be aware that a mediator is not a lawyer; they’re a neutral third party who will simply help keep communications clear, fair, and productive between you and your spouse. You and your spouse will negotiate and arrange your divorce on your own, and the mediator will not even contribute their own ideas unless asked. If you take this route, that’s a big part of how to save money while moving (for either or both of you).
Have A Full Understanding of Legal Fees
Suppose your divorce was a fairly dramatic one, and you really did hire lawyers to advocate your case in court. These child support lawyers and general divorce lawyers should be quite skilled and helpful, but of course, that means that they will charge hefty fees, too. In fact, some law firms might charge a fee just if you consult the lawyers who work there before hiring one, such as by phone. You might want to check for that ahead of time, to avoid accidentally racking up consultation fees by interviewing a bunch of different lawyers before hiring one. And while you are consulting an attorney, be sure to ask them what sort of fees they will charge and why based on the actions they can take for you, how long the divorce case may last, how qualified the lawyer is, and so on.
The best lawyers may charge more simply because they can do more for you, but a very cheap lawyer might be helpless in court and end up a waste of money on your part. When it comes to how to save money while moving, be sure that you are hiring a lawyer who is good enough for your case, but not so expensive that you end up broke. If your divorce case will be fairly easy to win, for example, there is probably no need to hire the best divorce lawyer in your state and have them charge you a lot for their deluxe services. Only hire as good a lawyer as you need, and find a balance between fees and services rendered.
Take Child Custody Into Account
If you and your spouse do not have children, then that may simplify things, but what if you do have one or more under-18 children in the household? In terms of how to save money while moving, be sure to factor in your children, such as the fees for hiring a child custody lawyer or visitation lawyer, and making alimony payments (if that ends up being the case). Child custody is likely to end up being hotly contested between you and your spouse, and you may be tempted to hire the best possible lawyer for a guarantee that your child ends up in your custody. Your spouse might have similar ideas.
Is that route worth it? Maybe it is, but don’t let your intense emotions ruin your financial life now or in the future. If you’re not financially prepared to receive sole custody of your child, then you need to do what’s in their best interests. Be sure to run the numbers carefully and talk this over with your divorce lawyer, and see if fighting for child custody (and winning it) makes sense money-wise.
If you really can afford a child custody attorney and child support expenses, then that is settled. If not, be prepared to make some hard choices when figuring out how to save money while moving after the divorce.
Work With A Financial Expert
If you are taking the step of hiring attorneys and going to court for your divorce, then this divorce case is bound to be a messy one, and you are likely to lose track of your finances (and your spouse’s). Doing all this alone may prove too much to you, especially when figuring out how to save money while moving, so you can and probably should turn to an accounting firm for expert assistance. Money is both complicated and important, and you absolutely do not want to end up paying for something you cannot afford and ending up in crushing debt. Such debt can eliminate many lifestyle options later on.
So, feel free to look up financial advisors of all kinds during and after your divorce (or even before it), and figure out how to save money while moving, as well as how to afford child support (if necessary) and how to factor any of your existing debts into all this. If your employment changes for the better or worse during this time, you will want to factor that in, too. If you are about to make more money, you can justify hiring more o better lawyers, and if your income is about to drop, then you can act more cautiously and avoid serious debt. Either way, an accounting firm or financial planner will help you figure out what you can and cannot afford, and figure out your best options for now and the future alike.
Divide Assets Accordingly
When it comes to how to save money while moving, be sure to consider the items that you already own and the ones that you stand to lose. During a divorce, all the assets between you and your spouse are getting divided, and that includes money, houses, cars, recreational vehicles, and even jewelry or family heirlooms. Living room furniture and bedroom furniture count too, and you can save some money when moving if you bring some of that furniture with you (so you don’t have to buy replacements later). If you’re wondering how to save money while moving, an easy answer is to minimize your need to buy new stuff. During a low-intensity divorce, it may be fairly easy to negotiate with your spouse and decide who gets what, based on lifestyle, personal taste, and income. The lower-income spouse may get the majority of the furniture, while the higher earner can afford to buy new furniture, for example.
Make Necessary Changes
When your divorce is over and you are living in a new residence, you should be sure that your new lifestyle is sustainable in a financial sense. For example, it is a good idea to find an apartment or a house within your price range during the divorce if it is clear that you’re going to move. Some divorcees spend a few years in an apartment while they save up money, then move into a house. Others choose to continue renting their living space, and as for you, that is a matter of both finance and preferences. The same goes for other major expenses, such as motor vehicles. If your car is a fancy and expensive one, it is going to be a real drain on your finances, and you probably can’t afford the auto loan payments, gas, and repair bills. Be ready to sell off a fancy but expensive car or motorcycle, and replace it with a much cheaper but reliable one.
In fact, if you have more than one car but don’t need them all, feel free to sell one and not replace it at all, and the same may be done for an ATV or boat or similar vehicle. But of course, you should not try to save money by getting a “clunker” to replace your shiny Audi or Mercedes-Benz; a very cheap, used car is more likely to break down, and it will need a lot of expensive repairs. That is more trouble (and expense) than it is worth, so an automobile downgrade shouldn’t be too drastic. For example, trade-in your fancy sports car for a gently used car that’s a few years old, and with any luck, that will suffice when it comes to money-saving. A five-year-old Nissan that drives reliably, for example, can be a great replacement for that fancy but excessive Mercedes-Benz you used to own.
As for your child, perhaps they used to attend a private school, or you were planning on enrolling them in private education soon. If your divorce was a costly one, you might want to reconsider those plans, if you must. Private education is usually worth the money in ordinary circumstances, but this is your post-divorce life where things are messy. Instead, you may look around carefully to find the best-rated public schools for your child until the time comes when you can reasonably afford the tuition costs.
Eliminate Frivolous Expenses
This is a fairly straightforward topic on how to save money while moving: cut out any spending that is just for fun, at least for now. Your current lifestyle is probably based on a number of routine entertainment expenses that you’re used to by now, and they are taken for granted. But now isn’t the time to spend fun money without realizing it; take inventory of all your fun expenses, from your motorcycling hobby to shopping habits to vacations, and see what the total is. That money could surely be used for something better right now. Even small things count, such as your daily Starbucks coffee or video streaming services. Also, make sure to eliminate unnecessary costs due to plumbing problems or heating and cooling system issues. Did you know that if an undetected plumbing leak continues for a year, it could cost you roughly $165 over those 12 months?
Calculating how to save money while moving is tricky for a divorcee such as yourself, but it can be done. Factor in legal fees, child support expenses, your lifestyle, your existing debt, and your property into the equation and the answers may soon make themselves clear, especially if an accounting firm is helping you.