By David Seeger, WNWO Today Money Monday expert
Every marriage will either end in death or divorce... It sounds morbid and depressing, but none-the-less is a true statement. The question is, how does divorce effect you financially?
It is estimated that the average cost of divorce in the US costs around $15,000. The costs vary depending upon if there are custody issues and how amicably does the two parties wish to settle the issue of divorce.
Here are some ways to control the financial costs of divorce:
1. Avoid a contested divorce if possible.
2. Share a lawyer with your soon to be ex if you can agree on issues
3. Hire a lawyer that has been recommended by someone you know for being fair and reasonable with his expenses.
4. Ask for a discount if assets are small or non-existent.
5. Prioritize your expectations
6. Be willing to compromise based upon your priorities
7. Consider a mediator
8. Keep lawyer visits to a minimum. He charges $200+ an hour on average.
9. Fire the lawyer if you are not satisfied with results. Divorce lasts a lifetime unlike the marriage you are leaving
10. Review all bills from the attorney and associated costs of divorce.
A growing form of financial professional that is involved with divorce is a Certified Divorce Financial Planner. The benefits of a divorce financial planner are:
1) take control of the divorce process, 2) gain a clear understanding of your current financial picture, 3) gain a clear understanding of your future financial picture, 4) be more focused on reaching a fair and workable settlement, 5) negotiate more effectively, 6) ensure a faster resolution of all financial matters for both spouses, 7) minimize legal fees, 8) minimize taxes and 9) maximize martial assets.