How to keep divorce costs from spiraling out of control

Money is a major source of stress as men and women go through divorce. It may have been scarce during the marriage, but now you are essentially living on your own and you may wonder how you are going to afford an attorney to guide you through the process. While having a legal counselor is well worth the money you spend, there are several things you can do to reduce your costs.

Try not to have your attorney do all the talking - While you certainly want your lawyer to speak during hearings and draft letters, you do not need him or her to make basic communications (and confirmations) between you and your spouse.

Be upfront and voluntarily exchange information - Many attorneys will agree that contentious discovery is the most expensive aspect of a divorce. With that said, you can save money by voluntarily providing information about income, assets and debt. Essentially, there should be no harm in sharing how much a home or car is worth, as well as how much debt you have incurred. For small businesses that will be divided, agreeing on one appraiser will shed the cost of having competing estimates.

Don't fight about things out of spite - The easiest way to waste money is to fight about things you believe you deserve based on "principle." Also, you should avoid fights over property that represents sentimental value. You could easily be bated into a costly dispute by an ex who cares nothing about the property, but only wants to continually needle you (and hurt you) by getting you to spend more than you really want.

By following these tips, you can take important steps to maintain control over divorce costs.

Source:, Top Five Ways to Save Money During Your Divorce, November 7, 2012

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