Many people are rightfully concerned about the cost of divorce. Divorce can be really expensive, but it does not necessarily have to be. There are things you can do before and during your marriage, as well as when your marriage comes to an end, which will help you to ensure you are not spending a fortune on divorce.
With around half of all marriages ending in a divorce, it is smart to think about protecting yourself and your assets long before you actually decide to divorce. If you stay married, then it's great news that your planning was for naught... but if you do divorce, everyone will be better off.
Five key ways that you can protect yourself and try to keep costs of divorce from putting you and your family in dire financial straits include the following:
- Negotiate and sign a prenup: If you sign a prenup, you have the chance to work out important issues related to divorce before problems develop in your relationship. You are much more likely to be able to come to agreements at this time than when you're fighting and ending your relationship.
- Keep separate property separate: If you bring separate property into a marriage, that property should be yours to keep if you divorce. However, it can become more complicated to be able to keep your own property if you have co-mingled it with marital assets. Try to keep it separate so it is clear it will go with you if the marriage ends.
- Work with an attorney if you decide to get a divorce: An attorney can guide you through the process of divorce, help you get divorced more quickly, and assist you in negotiation of a divorce agreement. All of this can save you money.
- Try to negotiate an out-of-court divorce settlement: If you have to litigate, your divorce is going to be much more contentious and much more costly. You don't want to have to pay for expert witnesses and court fees. You should have your lawyer help you try to come to a consensus in order to keep costs of the divorce process down.
- Know the law and how it protects you. When you know what a fair divorce settlement outcome is, this makes the negotiation process much easier and makes a deal more likely to happen. Your attorney can explain to you the laws on custody, support, division of assets, and more so you can make sure you have made smart and informed choice as you negotiate an out of court settlement.
By following these basic tips, you should be able to get the lowest cost divorce possible so you and your ex are able to separate while still on firm financial footing.