Skip to main content

Should I pay for my divorce with a Credit Card?

Whether or not your divorce attorney accepts credit cards, you should consider whether it makes sense in your case to take advantage of that option.

In many cases when a client pays with a credit card it just a matter of convenience or adding to their "miles".  However, in some cases, it is because they have no other option.  Going into debt to pay for your divorce attorney's costs should be done very cautiously.  While we believe that an attorney can provide a great benefit to parties in a divorce case, that benefit must be balanced against the cost of those services.  You don't want to end up figuratively paying for your divorce because you didn't get advice, or got bad advice, but you also don't want to literally being paying for your divorce for years if you can avoid it.  Here are some basic tips to avoid going into debt for your divorce:

Try to Keep Costs Down

You can assist your attorney in many ways, for instance by providing them timely with documents and information they request.  The better and more efficiently you communicate with your attorney, the lower your overall bill will be.

Make Business Decisions


While some decisions in a divorce are not financial, such as deciding on a parenting plan, most of the decisions that must be made do relate to your assets, debts, expenses and income.  Be conscientious of the fact that every dollar you spend on your attorney is one less dollar left in your marital estate.  If you can limit the issues in your case to less than you will spend on your attorneys to fight, then you should be able to settle quickly.  We call this making a "business decision" rather than an emotional one because in business we often must make choices that are not perfect but make financial sense.

Even in cases that involve non-financial issues, there may be cheaper more efficient ways to reach a settlement, such as using a parent coordinator or mediator to settle a parenting plan rather than taking your custody fight to trial.

Make a Plan for the Future

Finally, one of the most powerful ways to get over the emotion of a divorce and reduce the cost is to think about what you want your life to look like 1, 2 or 5 years from now.  Making a plan for the future, will help you decide on the best settlement of your case, and will require you to consider how the cost of your divorce will affect that plan.

Credit Cards can be a tool to help you move on with your life, but stay mindful of how you use them and make sure that the costs you are agreeing to pay fit into your budget.

At Kelsey & Trask, P.C. we do accept credit card payments with one exception (debtors in a bankruptcy case cannot pay for our fees by using their credit card).


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is the purpose of the Divorce Nisi waiting period?

In Massachusetts the statutory waiting period after a Judgment of Divorce and before the divorce becomes final (or absolute) is called the Nisi period. After a divorce case settles or goes to trial, a Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This waiting period serves the purpose of allowing parties to change their mind before the divorce becomes final. If the Judgment of Divorce Nisi has issued but not become final yet, and you and your spouse decide you don't want to get divorced, then you can file a Motion to Dismiss and the Judgment will be undone. Although many of my clients who are getting divorced think the idea of getting back together with their ex sounds crazy, I have had cases where this happened. In addition to offering a grace period to change your mind, the Nisi period has three other legal effects: 1. The most obvious effect of the waiting period is that you cannot remarry during the Nisi period, be

Does a Criminal Record affect Child Custody?

If one of the parents in a custody case has a criminal record, the types of crimes on their record could have an effect on their chances of obtaining custody. In custody cases the issue is always going to come down to whether or not the best interests of the child might be affected. In the most extreme case, in which one parent has been convicted of first degree murder of the other parent, the law specifically prohibits visitation with the children until they are of a suitable age to assent. Similarly, but to a less serious degree, in making custody and visitation determinations the court will consider crimes that would cause one to question the fitness of a parent. These types of crimes would obviously include any violent crime convictions which could call into question whether the children would be in danger around a parent who has shown themselves to resort to violence when faced with conflict. In addition, drug and alcohol abuse offenses would call into question a parent&#

What happens after my Divorce Agreement is approved by a Judge?

If you filed a Joint Petition for Divorce in Massachusetts then you will participate in an uncontested divorce hearing and the Judge will then issue Findings of Fact the day of the hearing.  A Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue after thirty (30) days, and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This means that if you file a Joint Petition for Divorce you are not legally and officially divorced until 120 days after the divorce hearing date. If you filed a Complaint for Divorce  then your case will end either with a trial (if you don't settle) or an uncontested divorce hearing (if you settle).  If you reach an Agreement, then a Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue and be effective as of the date of the uncontested divorce hearing, and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This means that if you file a Complaint for Divorce you are not legally and officially divorced until 90 days after the divorce hearing date. Therefore, for 90 - 120 day