Financial strain is a contributory factor to the break up of many marriages. When you are struggling to pay the bills, you may scrutinize each other’s spending habits. It can lead you to hide your spending from each other for fear of an argument every time you buy something. This does not make for a healthy relationship — especially when there are other stressors.
When a marriage sours, divorce can give you and your spouse an opportunity to start over — but how do you afford a divorce when you’re already struggling financially?
How much does a divorce cost?
The average cost of a divorce is $15,000, according to a 2017 study by Bankrate. As with any average, some cost much more, some cost much less. It’s also important to note this includes both spouse’s expenses and can include things like the cost of one party (or both) finding new housing, getting new transportation and so on.
Just the same, there’s no doubt that divorce can be expensive. If you want to keep your divorce on the lower end of the scale, there are several things you can do:
- Cooperate: The more you need to use professionals, the more divorce will cost you. If you refuse to share financial information with your spouse, they will need to pay an attorney to ask the court for access. If your spouse tries to hide assets, you will need to hire a forensic accountant to search for those assets. As a couple, you can avoid these costs if you share information and are honest with each other.
- Avoid conflict: If your divorce is a battle, you may both need counseling afterward. If you keep things civil, it reduces the trauma and the need to pay people to help you recover. Actively working to de-escalate the conflict that’s between you and your spouse can help the entire divorce process go along easily.
- Mediating your divorce: If you hit a sticking point over a few issues, mediation can help you overcome them. The process is faster than litigation and focuses on finding solutions rather than winning at the other’s expense. It will reduce the need for external help, so keep your divorce costs down.
Your divorce doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Talk to an experienced advocate today to learn more about your options.