A divorce will never be easy and, as a young professional looking to make your mark on the world, it can be even trickier. Not only might you be struggling for money, but there will likely be a lot of other things on your plate, including job aspirations and housing woes.
To combat these struggles, there are lots of ways to help you afford a divorce, starting with speaking to a family law firm beforehand to get a reasonable quote.
In this post, we’re going to share some ways you can make your divorce affordable and get you out of your marriage before it gets any worse. Take a look…
What Steps Can Young Professionals Take to Afford a Divorce?
No-one should be stuck in a divorce purely because they can’t afford to pay the bill, especially young professionals with their whole life ahead of them. The following steps should help you afford a divorce and get out of your marriage.
1. Find Out How Much it Will Cost
The first step towards affording your divorce is to find out how much they cost. Some law firms offer free initial consultations, especially to new clients, as it makes them much more likely to stick with that firm if they decide to go through with their divorce.
Use this fact to get yourself a quotation and, if you can’t afford the money they’re asking for, at least you now know how much you need to raise via other means to end your marriage.
Some firms actually provide ‘pro-bono’ divorce services, which are 100 percent free. These are usually part of a government scheme to help disadvantaged people who can’t afford to pay for their own divorce.
Legal aid is also available, but these days it’s restricted to people who are victims of domestic abuse. If you fit into this category, it’s definitely worth looking into.
2. Borrow Money From Friends or Family
Once you know how much the divorce is going to set you back, you can speak to friends and family to see if they can help you pay for it.
The people in your life might not be willing to give you the money outright and might worry that they’ll never see the money again. To settle their minds, you can draw up a legal contract to pay your friend or family member back over time.
This is a very common way that young professionals pay for their divorce, and all you need to do is specify the amount borrowed and the agreed repayment terms. Have a lawyer make the document legally binding and you have the funding for your divorce.
3. Get Funding From Support Groups
If you don’t have any family members or friends who are willing to help you, or can afford to help you, or you don’t think you’d be able to pay them back if they did, then you need to start looking elsewhere for funding.
People get divorced all over the world which means no matter where you live, there’s likely a support group there to help people who can’t afford a divorce. In the UK there’s Buttle UK, St Andrew’s Society for Ladies in need, and the Carol Kroch Foundation.
These organisations can help with funding and provide information and advice that will help you pay for your split.
4. Waive the Court Fees
In both the UK and the US, the local government has the ability to waive the court fees for people who can’t afford to pay them. As a young professional you could be eligible if you:
- Have less than £3,000 in savings and investments;
- Have an income of less that £1,085 a month before tax;
- Or are on any kind of income support benefit.
The US system is similar, with people who have limited savings on a low income and receiving benefits able to waive the court fees for their divorce.
5. DIY Online Divorce
As with everything else in our modern world, you can get a divorce relatively cheaply online. Obviously, it’s an inferior service when it comes to something as complicated as this, but it’s always an option if you aren’t able to afford a divorce the traditional way.
In the UK, you can look into using the Co-op legal services for £450 including VAT, as long as the divorce is uncontested. In the US, famous family lawyer, Laura Wasser, has developed the online divorce site itsovereasy.com.
These services are offered at a fixed charge fee which makes them as easy to pay for as a new vacuum cleaner.
These online services only really work if you and your ex are ending the relationship amicably and there aren’t too many issues to resolve. Basically, they’re perfect for young professionals who have realised their marriage was a mistake and want to end it as quickly as it began.
6. Borrowing Money
We’ve brought up this piece of advice last because it should only be considered as a last resort. If you can’t borrow money from family or support groups, waive court fees, or get a divorce online, you can always borrow money from a lender.
Before you go this route, make sure you can definitely pay the money back, otherwise you’ll be lumbered with a massive debt that could hang over you for a very long time. Make sure you’re aware of the interest and other associated fees of the loan.
That being said, they are often not interested in people who they believe won’t be able to pay them back so the choice could be out of your hands.
The main ways to get these loans are from a credit union, a low rate-personal loan company, or specific divorce loans from certain lenders. Your solicitor might have a recommended lender you can use who give money to people in your situation.
Will This Advice Help You Afford a Divorce?
In this post, we’ve shared our best advice on how to afford a divorce as a young professional with limited assets.
Most of you will be able to afford your split with one, or a combination, of the tips we’ve shared here. Hopefully, those of you who are still unable to pay for your divorce can find some other way to afford it and move on with your lives.