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Know what factors can drive up the cost of your divorce

How do you keep your divorce costs down to a minimum?

Well, just like a wedding, a divorce can vary in cost considerably -- and a lot of that cost is up to you and your spouse. Most people just don't realize that there are numerous factors that can quickly drive the cost of a divorce way up. They include:

1. Do you need to litigate?

If you and your spouse can agree on all the terms of your divorce before you hit court, you'll likely save a ton of money. A contested divorce that goes into litigation can raise the expense of a divorce by thousands.

Even if you and your spouse don't totally agree on everything, a collaborative divorce or mediated divorce process may still help you avoid litigation and save.

2. What are you doing with the house?

Your home may be a bit of an albatross during your divorce. Keep it, and you face all sorts of expenses to maintain it -- plus you have to buy out your spouse's share of the equity. Sell it, and the equity can be eaten away by realtor's fees, a soft home market and moving costs. Either way, it's a big decision and not something that you can take lightly.

Sometimes, it's smart to hold onto a house in a collaborative way for a few years until the market is better or you have more equity -- but that requires hammering out a detailed agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse in order to work.

3. What do you need for a second household?

One of you has to set up a whole new household -- which means that both of you are likely to incur some expenses as you replace everything from furniture and dishes to sheets and blankets. Furnishing a second place doesn't come cheap.

Don't make the mistake of going into debt for all new items. Thrift shop for second-hand items as much as possible to save some money.

As you think about the expenses you face, remember that not hiring an experienced divorce attorney can end up costing you even more. A divorce attorney can help you protect your interests and anticipate issues you might otherwise overlook. For more information, please visit our site.

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