Adverse life events often occur with little or no prior warning. Not only can they permanently alter your life, but they can also incur unexpected expenses. Divorce may be among the most expensive of such unexpected events. The cost of a divorce from start to finish can range from thousands to millions of dollars.
Even if you did not see your divorce coming, there are steps you can take now to keep the expenses on the low side of the spectrum. A split from your spouse does not necessarily have to mean financial ruin.
- Focus on your situation
Friends and family who have gone through a divorce in the past may offer you advice. This may be helpful up to a point. Ultimately, however, your situation is unique, and what worked for others may not work for you. You need to focus on what works in your individual circumstances.
- See the big picture
Yes, you need to look out for your own interest, but you also need to keep the peace with an ex-spouse with whom you will still need to co-parent and encounter at family gatherings. You may have areas in which you are unwilling to compromise, but do not focus on your non-negotiables to the point that you lose sight of what really matters in the long run.
- Keep documents organized
Divorce involves a lot of paperwork. Keeping your documents organized helps to save you time, and saving time helps to save you money. You can organize your documents by keeping them together in a file folder or binder that allows you to label them. This allows you to find exactly what you are looking for quickly when the proceedings require it. Doing your own legwork in this manner can help you save money on fees related to legal services.
Divorce is a difficult process, but almost everyone eventually makes it through. With some forethought and self-discipline, you can help your finances survive the process mostly intact.