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How People Inadvertently Make Their Divorces More Expensive

Emily shares her thoughts with U.S. News & World Report.

Keeping Your Attorney Fees Efficient

A divorce can be complex. It has permanent consequences. It is not something you want to be “pennywise pound foolish” about. The idea is not to be cheap, but to be efficient and reach a cost-effective result. Cost-benefit analysis is critical when making divorce decisions.

Some divorcing couples are able to reach a complete and final agreement without the assistance of divorce professionals. All they need is someone to help them draft the marriage settlement agreement. These couples are rare.

More often, couples have some issues they can agree on, and others that are more difficult.

If you can work out at least some issues with your ex, your divorce will be less expensive than if you cannot agree on anything.

Being a responsive and organized client also helps. Divorce attorneys will need a lot of information from you, and the less we need to follow up or decode your documents, the more efficient your attorney time will be. It seems simple, but it makes a big difference.

Another tip is to take your attorney’s advice. There are people who think that they know better, and this can overcomplicate a case. The attorney and client must work together as a team. It is a very collaborative process, but when your attorney is telling you directly to do something or not, remember that you are paying good money for this advice for good reason.

Clients can inadvertently overcomplicate their cases, and it is more expensive to have an attorney clean up a mess than to just not create a mess in the first place.

Costs One Should Be Prepared to Pay Before They Get a Divorce

Everyone knows that Los Angeles divorce lawyers are expensive, but other divorce-related costs can add up. It's important to have a holistic financial understanding.

Some costs that people don't generally account for:

  • Increased cost in living expenses to support two households.

  • Costs for divorce professionals who are not lawyers, like forensic accountants and therapists.

  • Fees for refinancing mortgages and automobile loans; property and title transfer costs.

  • Repairs to make real estate market-ready.

  • Moving costs and the costs of buying new furniture and home goods.

  • Increased cost of car insurance, health insurance, and cell phone bill after switching from family plans.

  • Court filing fees, administrative fees, process serving fees, and messenger service fees. In a case that is heavily litigated, these costs can add up very quickly.

Cost-Efficient Divorce

Even when a divorce is uncontested, meaning that you and your ex agree what should happen to your assets, debts, and parenting, there will be costs associated with finalizing your divorce and starting single life.

What you don't want to do is burn more cash than you need to in the divorce process itself. The biggest waste of money in a divorce is choosing to dig your heels into positions that are unlikely to win in court.

If a couple can settle 3/5 issues, they will have a more cost-efficient divorce than if they can't settle any issues


The Law Office of Emily E. Rubenstein is a full service divorce and family law firm. We proudly serve Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, the South Bay, Glendale, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Encino and all of Los Angeles County.

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