Tips for Saving Money During a Divorce

Austin, Texas Divorce Attorney Explains How to Streamline the Process

Video Transcript: 

Jimmy Vaught:

We always tell people that we have to start at amicably. You can always ratchet things up if you need to, but you can't sort of put the toothpaste back in the tube once you start scorched earth or something. And as I said, drama is expensive.

Judy Maggio:

Are there ways you can possibly lower the cost of your divorce? How about some expert advice? That's what we're gonna get on this episode of Ask the Lawyer. Hi everybody, I'm Judy Maggio with AskTheLawyers.com, and my guest today is Austin lawyer, Jimmy Vaught. Before we get started though, I wanna remind you that if you want to ask Jimmy any questions about your particular situation, just visit AskTheLawyers.com, click the button at the top of the page that says Ask a lawyer, and it will walk you right through that process. Jimmy, so good to see you. Thank you so much for helping us out today.

Jimmy Vaught:

Good to see you Judy, I'm happy to help.

Judy Maggio:

Well, first of all, as an experienced divorce attorney, what advice do you have a person who's thinking about filing but is worried about the cost and the potential contentious nature of a divorce?

Jimmy Vaught:

Well, you know, the cost is the cost, and my advice would be don't cheap out on something, particularly if you have children are involved, substantial assets, as far as the cost and the contentiousness of divorce kind of go hand in hand. I always say that the drama is expensive, and so to the extent that people can keep it lower key and keep the drama tamped down, so to speak, that's gonna keep the cost down and also probably make it less contentious. We always tell people that we have to start at amicably. You can always ratchet things up if you need to, but you can't sort of put the toothpaste back in the tube once you've started out a scorched earth or something. And as I said, drama is expensive.

Judy Maggio:

And getting divorce can be very expensive, and people worry about the cost. What tips would you have for people who wanna save money during the process?

Jimmy Vaught:

Well, one of the most expensive parts, typically is far more discovery. That's when the party sends a written request for numerous documents, maybe 50-60 categories of documents, a series of questions to be answered. So to the extent that people can basically get us documents, not make it, drag it out of them and cross as much as possible, that's gonna keep the cost down, and you could probably say otherwise, the other instance is just basically being responsive to us really helps, so we actually are not sort of spending time, you know, trying to draw things out of people or track people down, things like that. The other part is, like I said, you avoid drama and you reach case where they're kind of say like high school bickering and hijinx and stuff to the people, more people make it difficult, frankly, the more expensive it is.

Judy Maggio:

So what should someone do if they really wanna settle and just get it over with, but the other spouse is kind of being irrational and unnecessarily turning up the heat. What do you do in a situation like that?

Jimmy Vaught:

Well, the other party is really irrational, there's not pretty much about the only option is to go to court, because if they're truly irrational, any kind of settlement negotiations or mediation, things like that, they're very unlikely to settle, and they're probably... We usually have to take those cases to court.

Judy Maggio:

What about advice for parents in particular going through divorce and lessen the impact on the children involved?

Jimmy Vaught:

Well, first of all, try to reassure the children that both parents love them, and also to avoid disparaging the other parent. We do have difficult times with one parent bad mouthing the other parent to the kids, obviously that doesn't help the kids or the parent. Another thing to consider is counseling for the children, particularly if their old enough, because based on the circumstances, some cases are more difficult, and we frequently encourage people to get... For the children to get counseling, to work their way through the divorce.

Judy Maggio:

Do you think that spouses should try to do a divorce on their own, and if not, how do you go about choosing a good divorce attorney?

Jimmy Vaught:

Well, if someone doesn't have any children or property or joint credit, doing it themselves may be okay. Where you get into trouble is if someone has children or significant assets and they try to do it themselves without any kind of legal guidance, it can be unintended consequences quite frankly, that they just don't appreciate, and so if someone has children or significant assets, they really should hire a lawyer, and as far as choosing somebody, that's a really personal decision. Normally look at the person's reputation, to have a qualified staff. Don't just Google him and accept the first person you see. And I also ask some other professionals such as a banker, some lawyer in a different field, like a real estate agent, people like that, or even opinions if they had that experience. But I always tell people when we're talking to him initially, is that there's a lot of good lawyers in the Austin area and you need to find someone you feel comfortable with... And so sometimes it's a personality fit, and sometimes it’s not. 

Judy Maggio:

Great advice today, Jimmy, very helpful information. We sure appreciate you answering our questions.

Jimmy Vaught:

Sure thing, I'm happy to help.

Judy Maggio:

Well, that will do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer, my guest has been Austin lawyer Jimmy Vaught. Don't forget if you wanna ask Jimmy your questions about your situation, it's easy to do. Just visit AskTheLawyers.com, click the button at the top of the page that says Ask a Lawyer. Thanks so much for watching. I'm Judy Maggio with Ask The Lawyer.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

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