Divorce, as most people know, is expensive. According to the latest figures, the average cost of a divorce (with no children in the mix) is $15,600. When there are children involved, the cost goes up to $23,500.
If that seems like an impossible figure to manage, take heart: Your divorce doesn’t have to cost that much. Like all averages, there are many people who manage to get divorced for far less.
What goes into the cost of a divorce?
When experts figure out the cost of a divorce, they look at things that most people haven’t calculated into their actual divorce expenses. For example, the calculations include things like:
- The cost one or both spouses may have finding a new residence and furnishing it with the basic necessities
- Refinancing loans or credit card debt that was held jointly into just one spouse’s name
- The expense that at least one spouse will probably incur getting their own health insurance
- The cost of therapy for those who need a support system during the divorce
Filing fees, court fees and legal fees to your attorney make up the rest. Once you have this in perspective, you can take steps to divide the unavoidable expenses as much as possible and minimize the rest.
How can you minimize the cost of your divorce?
Probably the most important thing you can do is agree with your spouse that you need to treat the whole divorce as a business deal. That means putting your emotions aside and approaching the situation with a cooperative (if pragmatic) heart.
The more you and your spouse can negotiate issues like the division of your assets and debts, any spousal support agreements and custody issues without litigation, the lower your costs will ultimately become.
Working with an attorney who understands the benefits of a collaborative approach to divorce without being afraid of litigation when necessary is the best way to be proactive.