Divorce can be expensive, but as Willie Nelson once said, it is because divorce is worth it. However, a divorce does not have to be expensive. If the spouses can find a way to work together, litigation, the most expensive costs in a divorce, can be avoided.
Work together for the children
First, the most heated litigation subject is a couple’s children. Sometimes, spouses believe that they are the best and only parent needed and their decisions should be final. Though, this mindset is not looking at what is in the best interests of the children. Instead, this is looking at one’s own best interests. As such, one of the best ways to keep litigation costs down is to decide what will happen to the children after a divorce even before talking with an attorney together, as co-parents. If the spouses can agree on visitation, where the child will live, medical costs, who makes decisions, etc., then a protracted legal battle over these issues can be avoided. Of course, if a couple is open to an agreement, but just needs help, perhaps, mediation or a collaborative divorce can help reduce costs as well.
The family’s assets and debts
The next big-ticket litigation cost is property division. Specifically, who gets the assets and debts, or how those assets and debts are divided between the couple. The longer a marriage lasts, the harder these questions become to solve, especially if one of the spouses was the primary earner and the other the homemaker. This means that retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, etc. will all be in one spouse’s name, including most, if not all, bank accounts. However, both spouses are entitled to these funds, so if spouses can find an equitable way to divide these assets and debts, they can save themselves a lot of money in litigation costs. And, if a couple has a prenuptial agreement, then this too can avoid litigation on how to divide those assets because the prenup will outline property division.
So, what is the key?
Put simply, a willingness of Tucson, Arizona, couples to work together and not fight. The reasons many divorce costs escalate is contention, vindictiveness, a want to “win” and a general unwillingness to find the best path forward for everyone. If a couple can avoid this mindset, the divorce costs will naturally be lower.