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Once you get over the emotional shock of the fact that you're getting a divorce, the next real panic might set in: How are you going to afford this?

Financial concerns are a big part of life for anyone -- and the rising cost of divorce doesn't make the process easier. The national average price tag of a divorce is around $15,000.

However, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. Some divorces cost substantially more and some substantially less -- depending on how much a couple is willing to work out between themselves before the court and lawyers get involved.

The $15,000 figure takes into account things like court costs, attorney fees, the cost of appraisals for real estate and other objects of value, tax advisors when splitting financial investments and child custody evaluations. The more that spouses disagree on different subjects, the more expensive the divorce will ultimately be.

So, how can you keep down the cost of your divorce?

  1. Turn over all paperwork to your spouse about your financials and have your spouse do the same. It's time consuming and expensive for attorneys to have to force the issue.
  2. Try to negotiate with your spouse over all the major issues, like alimony, living arrangements, custody of the children, custody of the pets and the division of major property. The more you can come to an agreement, the less expensive the divorce will be for you both.
  3. Be willing to make sacrifices. In a good divorce, neither party usually gets everything they want. By giving up certain things on your "ideal wish list" for the divorce, you can move on more quickly and easily.
  4. Be willing to try alternative forms of dispute resolution, like mediation. You can often reduce the cost of your divorce significantly that way.

If you're ready to start working out the details of your divorce plan, our office may be able to help.

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