E is for How Expensive Will Your Divorce Be?

Until you find yourself in the middle of a divorce, you can’t be fully aware of all the expenses involved. So before you take a major step towards divorce, let’s take a moment to consider what some of the financial implications are that you may encounter along the way.

The amount of conflict while ending a marriage can have a tremendous effect on the overall cost of the divorce. The best way to keep divorce expenses down is to keep the conflict as minimal as possible. Both parties must be willing to negotiate. If this is not possible, you must consider the fact that you will now be paying an attorney to communicate for you. Your attorney fees can range from $115 to $450+ hour and they will bill you for every minute of their service. The more time this process takes, the more fees you will incur.

The cost of divorce can range from $100 (uncontested divorce) to well over $100,000. You can make the process less expensive by knowing all of your options. Clients that choose to use a mediator or collaborative attorney will  pay less than those that choose a litigated divorce.

If hiring a litigation attorney becomes necessary,  you can still keep cost down by being reasonable with your demands. Some helpful hints include: having financial records available and in order; organizing other documentation that are required;  being reasonable and open to negotiating; and trying to settle without going in to court.

Some hidden costs of divorce may include but not be limited to: maintaining two separate households (in some states you must be separated for a full year before a divorce is possible); court fees; process server fees;  child custodial evaluations; and counselors fees. If you financial situation is complex,  you may need to seek help from a financial advisor, business evaluator and perhaps a therapist to help you through the process.

Long drawn out child custody battles can be some of the most difficult and expensive divorce cases. Avoiding this when possible is cost effective and in the best interest of children.

It is important to consider the economics and benefit of going to court vs. negotiation and/or mediation.  Many couples, once they discover the large expense associated with going to trial, will agree to settle out of court.

Once a marriage has been dissolved, the divorce should be handled like any other business agreement— professionally.  Treat your divorce and partner with the same fairness and respect that you want and deserve.

Answers from AZ

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific indiviualized legal advice. LPL financial does not provide professional legal services. Please see your professional legal advisor regarding your specific situation. Information contained herein has been obtained from source believe to be reliable, but not guaranteed.

 

 

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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