One of the worst aspects of divorce is financial consequences. It takes money to file and have legal representation. You lose many assets during the division process, and you may have to pay child and/or spousal support.
The bills quickly add up. Most of these costs just come with the territory, but others you have more control over. Even with those you do not, you can take steps to prepare yourself financially to minimize the hit to your bank account.
1. Understand asset division before agreeing to anything
In an effort to make the proceedings go faster, you may hastily agree on how to divide marital property. Perhaps you have your heart set on certain things. Do not rush into it or limit yourself. Make sure you are aware of all property you are entitled to, and understand all your options concerning them, especially for something like the house.
Review tax implications for retirement accounts and real estate. Include management of debt in the agreement. Consider what will be a good choice in the long term, as property division will have a lasting effect on your financial situation.
2. Talk to a financial professional
It may seem counterintuitive to spend money on another professional, but discussing your finances with a divorce financial planner or analyst can help you prepare for the event and come out of it economically stable. A professional can help you determine a post-divorce budget, set up new accounts and take other steps to protect your future. This is useful whether you have lots of wealth and involvement in finances or have little economic knowledge.
3. Avoid contention
The more hostile the divorce, the longer and more expensive it will likely be. If you and your spouse can see eye to eye on this matter, you can significantly cut down costs. Focus on the issues and leave out the emotions. Do what is in the best interests of the family, and try to cooperate in creating your divorce terms. The more in control you are, the more you will save. However, this does not mean a DIY divorce is a good idea. Mistakes will cost you time and money.