Getting a divorce is very similar to getting married in one respect: It costs money. If you’re contemplating a split, you have to think about the financial issues involved – and that’s much more than just thinking about dividing up the savings account and splitting the bills. You have to think about what the divorce itself will cost you.
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the median price of a divorce in the United States is hovering right around $7,000. The bad news is that the average cost, which is more likely what you’ll pay, ranges between $15,000 and $20,000. So, how can you save money? Here are some tips:
First, realize that the biggest expense isn’t your attorney
Sure, lawyer’s fees, filing fees and court costs do make up some of that expense – but that’s actually the one expense that you can control the most (so long as you and your spouse are willing).
Couples who can put aside their differences in order to hammer out an agreement on all the essential issues (including the division of property and debts, custody and support) can file for an uncontested divorce – which means there is no litigation.
Once you have your agreement, which can be negotiated privately, via mediation or through your respective attorneys, you can simply ask the court to approve it. In other words, a cooperative spirit, open communication and true transparency about the financials can save you thousands.
Second, understand you won’t pay all of these costs at once
What most people don’t realize is that the statistics surrounding the cost of divorce factor in a lot of “hidden” divorce costs. These include:
- ● The downpayment on a new place to live for at least one spouse
- ● The utility deposits and moving costs for the new residence
- ● The cost of refinancing either a home, a car or another property into one spouse’s name
- ● The cost of refinancing debts into the proper party’s name
- ● The cost of furnishing a new place (and replacing many furnishings)
This is where economizing and a realistic approach to your situation can help. The more you plan ahead and space out these expenses, the easier they can be to manage – and minimize.
If you’re ready to move on with your life, don’t let the cost scare you away. Experienced legal guidance can help you even more.