All across the United States there is a misconception that divorce has to be expensive. Sure, there are some divorce cases reported in the news that reach hundreds of thousands, even several millions of dollars. The numbers are one factor that draws the attention of the media as well as the dramatic controversy between the spouses that helps increase the cost.

This false assumption even causes some to remain in an unhappy marriage — especially amidst current economic conditions. The truth is that divorce can cost a much or as little as a couple wants it to. Raising the concern with a divorce attorney is one way to open your eyes to money-saving options such as mediation.

Mediation is one way for couples to keep costs down during a divorce. The more court appearances, the higher the cost, but mediation keeps the process out of court. Using mediation can also speed up the process and keep the details private.

There are some things that a spouse can do before mediation to help smooth out and speed up the process. A spouse should think about different aspects of the divorce such as the emotional value versus the financial value of an asset. What is the driving reason behind wanting an asset?

When it comes to children, think about what being a single parent will mean; separating the role of parent and spouse can help an individual decide what custody arrangement might benefit the children most.

While some couples choose to undergo divorce mediation without an attorney, it can leave them financially exposed even when that is not the intent. At the least an attorney should review the settlement agreement.

Source: Fox Business, “How to Make Your Divorce Cheaper,” Andrea Murad, May 16, 2013

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