7 Ways to Separate Yourselves from the High Cost of Divorce

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Undoing a marriage can be almost as costly as getting hitched in the first place. In a survey reported by CNNMoney, the average nuptials have hit $30,000. Meanwhile, a divorce can typically run you $15,000 to $20,000, according to the Huffington Post.

The estimates are only averages, of course; they may not be an accurate gauge for what either of those events would cost you. However, there's no question that for most people, these are serious expenses. And the limit in either case can be the boundary of outer space.

Racking up legal bills and court fees -- to say nothing of paying for private investigators and forensic accountants to find the assets you're sure are hidden -- can be too easy, particularly if you lust for vengeance.

If you're thinking about divorce, it's too late for a prenup. But you and the soon-to-be-ex can go for a saner and financially sensible breakup that will be easier on you both. Call it cost-conscious uncoupling.


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d1anaw

If your divorce is the consequence of abuse, addiction or adultery, you deserve to lose your shirt. Maybe next time, you'll learn how to behave.

June 16 2014 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gcarlson007

I found the "Yes dear, yes dear, yes dear", worked best for me. She wasn't vengeful and my laeyer told me her request were not out on ordinary/line. Actually he said she was pretty reasonable. With that information, I agreed to everything she was asking, against the pleadings of the Judge and my lawyer. Dragging things out doesn't work for me! Quick and done does. Today, we are very good friends, and, I get invited to her house anytime I like!

June 16 2014 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Reg Anz

When you're dealing with a vengeful wife, and trust me most of them are at the very thought that you might want out of the marriage, you're going to be at their mercy without a prenup. My attorney said our divorce would be over in three months because there was really nothing to resolve (no minor children, no family business, and few assets). My ex drew it out for 2 1/2 years, after receiving a sizable inheritance (her separate property that I never questioned), and when I and the two attorneys were finally ready to sign off, she fired her attorney, hired another one, and it went on for another year. Even the judge said that it was ridiculous to have spoent all that money on resolving the issues that we had. I had been saying that from the start, but couldn't stop to process. It was a year before we received the first ridiculous offer to settle! GET A PRENUP!!!

June 16 2014 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
walt

I believe the best way is both sit down do a ruff draft for a prenuptial agreement that you both think is fair prior to marriage while your both getting along great. Then take it to one lawyer you both agree on and have it drawn up to become law. For me thats how we did it and was the best spent 11 page $650.00 ever spent!! Our divorce only cost under $1,000 to perform when we parted and only took in PA. the 90 waiting period to be granted by a judge and we were free and happy. Not one bit of fighting, thank God!! 18 years ago April 7, 1996.

June 16 2014 at 3:44 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to walt's comment
marshall021162

Congratulations Walt...to a job well done!!!!

June 16 2014 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dostramigo

Get the pre-nup and a good attorney. Stash cash if you know it is coming. Or like alot of losers are doing today is filing for SSN disability and getting it. That avoids child support payments for the dead beats. We all know some of these losers who do that.

June 16 2014 at 12:38 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to dostramigo's comment
garabian

The best way to avoid divorce is none of that legal mumbo jumbo. The best way to avoid divorce is to attack what causes divorce. If it is money, then the couple should use the "one pocket theory" and use their joint resources to live on, of course, if they have enough. A financial advisor is the one who sould solve that problem. If it is too late, then the Pre Nup should be considered; however, without legal advice, a pre nup is useless because it does not consider all of the possibilities. Lastly, if a divorce is necessary, then you have to consider: uncontested or contested? The $30,000.00 figure is based on a contested divorce; however, based upon the time it takes, that can be whittled down; if it is uncontested, I question whether mediation or arbitration would not work. You are still going to figure out many things that the laws requires be disclosed, not the lawyers; in MA, thanks to the legal system that just about makes lawyers unnecessary, there are formulas for everything, but that takes work and judgment; just go to the Divorce Section of any Probate Court and see what you have to do. That sometimes takes work, advice and presentation before anything. I really think that you cannot do these things yourself; if you think you can, then do it and take the risks; otherwise, money for time spent would be well spent.

June 16 2014 at 11:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lsheaffer

When my wife and I divorced after 30+ years of marriage, we sat down and agreed on just how we would divide our assets - basically 50/50. We each had retirement accounts which were approximately equal in vaue, so we decided to just each keep our own. We agreed to sell our house and split the proceeds equally. We went through the house and decided who would take what furniture and other household items - she was moving to a much smaller place so I let her take what she wanted, we sold some and I took the rest. We had several cars (including two antiques) and the ones I took were more vaulable than hers, so I agreed to give her the difference in their value. Our children were adults so there were no custody issues.

We did not hire divorce lawyers per se. We hired a mediator (who was actually an attorney) who wrote the divorce agreement and did all of the legal paperwork required by the court. That cost $3000. There was only one issue of any consequence: Our son already had a graduate degree which was mostly paid for by his job, so my wife and I agreed that if our daughter went to graduate school she would have to pay for 50% of it herself and my wife an I would split the other 50%.

After the papers were filed, we had to wait a couple of months for a court hearing. Because we had settled everything in advance, we sailed through the hearing in 10 minutes. The judge just asked us is we understood and agreed to the divorce agreement, and when we said we did, the divorce was approved.

The advice given here is correct. Do not try to settle personal issues with a divorce. I don't necessarity agree with the do-it-yourself approach to the paperwork that is recommended in another comment; I think it should be done by a professional to avoid any legal problems and speed the process, and the $3000. we paid for that was well worth it.

June 16 2014 at 10:47 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lsheaffer's comment
marshall021162

CONGRATULATIONS Isheaffer...you and your ex wife are 2 of the smartest people I have read about....I hope you both are happy and moving on with your lives.. ..Great story for all contemplating divorce...Good job and Great Story!!!

June 16 2014 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaded13640

I was married twice and divorced twice. The first wedding the whole package. Big reception, big expense, high dollar dress for the missus...the whole nine yards. I was working and going to school and she was loafing. I'd come home after working 12 hours, going to school for 4 and still had 3 hours of homework only to find nothing for me to eat, the house a mess and kids running around like animals at midnight. Time after time she'd come home from her job only to inform me that she quit becuase something pissed her off. The last straw was when we bought a house together. Of course the deal was, "you will keep a job, like it or not, others pissing you off or not, no matter what". We were there maybe two weeks when she came home with the same old story. I sat there with my jaw on the floor. Before I could even say anything she pulled her second favorite trick, "I'm going to stay with my mom for a while". I said, "you might want to take your stuff this time. The locks will be changed 10 minutes after you leave and papers will be filed within a week". She acually laughed as she left. She was rather shocked when she was served with divorce papers. I went down to staples and got a "do it yourself divoce packet". It was simple and cheap. We had nothing but debt so there wasn't anything to fight over. At one point she said, "maybe I'll take this house from you". I told her to please do. Why would a single guy need a three bedroom house and a 30 year mortgage? And I mentioned that since she lived off the student loans that piled up like cord wood that she's also be responsible for half of that debt. I never heard another word about that crap. I've tried to tell people to go that route but they believe they have to have a lawyer. They'll say, "I just want to get it over and done with" no realizing that a lawyer will prolong it.
My second ex and I did the same thing. If you don't have a dispute over splitting assets the do it yourself kit is the only way to go. If you're fighting for custody or have a bunch of assets, yes, you need a lawyer to fight for your share. Otherwise you're going to get taken to the cleaners. The article is right. People will spend thousand to dispute a 100 dollar issue. The foolishness is amazing. Do yourself a favor, even if you're both broke when get married, do a prenup. At some point there will be something to split. It may be debt. The other party is entitled to their share of the assets but they're also responsible for half the debt. People seem to ignore that one too.

June 16 2014 at 9:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
coopdabomb

Just run her over, the biggest problem you will face is getting your tires clean.

June 16 2014 at 9:31 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to coopdabomb's comment
marshall021162

Yes, it was highly suggested to me as well, and I would not be homeless today after losing my business, 10 houses, and my sanity....Well, at least I still have my 3 wonderful children. Always trying to look on the bright side, although, it seems to keep getting darker.

June 16 2014 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rockymtnhikerCo

I avoided divorce by not getting married.sometimes i'm :) with the decision,sometimes i'm also :( by it. I have dated,lived with a few women who were either frigid and cold or golddiggers. I know not all ladies are like that,and i'm no gem of a guy myself ladies to be honest. My dearly departed mother was married 3 yimes that i'm aware of,maybe 4,and in each case,she was ALWAYS the boss,bellowing out orders to her husband at the time. She was right on some things, wrong on others ,just like the rest of us are at times

June 16 2014 at 8:26 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rockymtnhikerCo's comment
marshall021162

Good Advice from one who has only been married once....Stay single and keep dating!!!

June 16 2014 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply