The newest figures are in regarding the cost of a modern divorce and it’s not great news for folks in California. On average, a divorce in this state costs more than anywhere else in the nation.
Couples without children can expect to spend an average of $17,500 — which is more than double the $8,400 a couple in Montana might pay. Similarly, a California couple with minor children can expect to pay an average of $26,300 for a divorce.
These figures are just averages. Your actual costs could be a lot lower — or a lot higher. You and your spouse actually have some control over the situation.
Here’s how to lower the cost of your divorce:
- Resolve to be amicable. The more you and your spouse are willing to work together to gracefully exit the marriage, the faster, easier and cheaper your split will be. This is the time to focus on practical concerns — not what went wrong in the marriage or who get the “blame” for the divorce.
- Share all your documents. Nothing will make your costs spiral up faster than holding back your financial documents and forcing your spouse to fight for everything. You’re legally required to put all of your financial “cards” on the table during a divorce, so make it easy.
- Be fair when it comes time to split things up. Whether your dividing the furniture or dividing custody, being fair and reasonable toward your spouse is likely to make things easier (and more likely to be reciprocated).
- Don’t spend more on the fight than something is worth. If you’re arguing over a multi-million dollar art collection, you probably have every reason to keep going. On the other hand, arguing over the good china in court will probably cost you more than buying a new set.
A mindful approach to your divorce and the division of your assets can always help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.