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Sharon Easley
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How to avoid unnecessary costs during divorce

Divorce can be costly -- often unexpectedly so. For example, the price tag of a two-day divorce trial can run to $25,000. Even a simple, uncontested divorce can cost more than a thousand dollars.

You do not want to make a difficult process worse by losing financial security. There are several ways you can save money during a divorce.

Eliminate as much emotion from the picture as possible

In divorce, too much emotion can be expensive. For example, if you are angry with your spouse, you may decide to fight for all of the assets and for full custody of the children. That is a lot of legal hours billed. Plus, after the divorce, you could end up with property carrying high taxes and that you cannot afford to keep. Overly intense feelings can cloud your judgment to a risky extent.

Seek out mediation services

It may seem impossible to leave emotion out of a divorce.  After all, many separations are due to the feelings involved. Even if the split is amicable, you are likely grieving the promise of what could have been.

In most cases, you may need outside help. Mediation is often an effective way to keep divorce talks as smooth as possible, plus it helps speed the process along. You and your spouse get a plan tailor-made for your circumstances and can even file online. You may also avoid the costly fees for litigation.

Be honest

Be forthcoming and honest about your assets. Now is not the time to hide money or conceal property. You may think you are saving money in the short term, but when your ex finds out what you have done, you could be headed to court and eventually land yourself in dire financial straits. While it might be tempting to stow away some things for later, do not make this mistake.

Stay organized

Show up to mediation sessions with everything you need to make your point. This can include pay stubs, asset valuation estimates and the various expenses your children incur. Moreover, bring a copy of everything so that your ex is able to see all that you do.

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