Keeping divorce costs down isn’t impossible

The decision to go through with a divorce is not one to be taken lightly and should always be given the utmost consideration. That’s because life as you know it will undergo some pretty drastic changes. For instance, you may find yourself living in an entirely new home, spending less time than you would like with your kids and making regular child support/spousal support payments.

This is not to say that divorce is something to be avoided, as it can free you from an unhappy marriage and enable you to move forward with your life.

Those considering divorce, however, should also be aware that this ability to move forward can sometimes prove costly. Fortunately, legal experts have identified a few simple ways in which divorcing spouses can preserve much-needed funds while still achieving their desired goal.

Consider alternatives to court

Those who are unfamiliar with the divorce process probably have a pretty clear image in their minds of what is in store for them: prolonged and costly courtroom battles in which private matters are made public and couples are left feeling resentful.

While some spouses do have to go to court for their divorce, many others are capable of ending their marriages outside of court through alternatives to traditional divorce, such as collaborative divorce or mediation. These two alternatives — explained below — enable couples to settle their differences outside of court in a manner that is less hostile and far less expensive.

  • Collaborative divorce: In collaborative divorce, couples first sign a contract pledging to resolve all of their issues outside of the courtroom. Each spouse is then assigned their own attorney and mental health professional to act as their coach during the process. (A neutral financial advisor is also part of the team, as is a child specialist if there are children in the family.) The collaborative divorce team then proceeds to work together to resolve issues in a constructive manner.
  • Divorce mediation: In divorce mediation, the former spouses — both of whom may be represented by an attorney — meet in a neutral location to resolve important divorce issues, including child support, spousal maintenance, child custody and property division. The mediation session is run by a neutral third party mediator who works to facilitate both a constructive dialogue and mutual cooperation.

To be continued …

Consider speaking with an experienced and skilled legal professional to learn more about whether traditional dissolution of marriage, divorce mediation or collaborative divorce is right for your situation.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Source: Fox Business, “How to make your divorce cheaper,” Andrea Murad, May 16, 2013