As someone navigating your way through a divorce, chances are, you are preparing for considerable change in your life in the days ahead. While adjusting to life on your own can be difficult in and of itself, it can prove much more so if you are also having to finance a tremendously costly divorce. The good news, however, is that divorce does not have to involve a sizable investment, and Yahoo Finance reports that there are a number of different steps you can take to lower the costs associated with yours.
So, what can you do to help avoid an unnecessarily expensive divorce?
1. Consider mediation
You and your ex once worked together quite well, or you probably would not have married. If you can pull it together enough to do so for a little while longer, it can save you both a substantial amount of money. In 2015, for example, a traditional courtroom divorce would run you somewhere between $15,500 and $19,200 or even higher, depending on whether custody and related issues are part of the proceedings. Mediation can often cut this amount significantly, saving both parties money they might need for down payments, security deposits and so on down the line.
2. Understand tax implications
Your divorce will also undoubtedly impact the manner in which you file your taxes. Married couples often reap tax benefits that single people do not. Furthermore, the way you handle spousal support payments when filing your taxes has changed this year, so the more you understand about how your split will affect your taxes, the better.
3. Close joint credit accounts
While dividing your assets is an important part of divorce, so, too, is dividing debts. As long as you maintain joint forms of credit, you expose yourself to liability for your former partner’s debts, so do yourself a favor and make a clean financial break from your ex.
Divorce is inevitably hard, but it is not inevitably expensive. Taking these three steps can help you spend less money on your divorce and more on a new home or whatever else you might need as you start your new life on your own.