How much will your divorce really cost?

You don’t expect your divorce to be cheap — but you also aren’t sure about how much money you’ll need to spend, either.

If you glance at the news, the figures can seem frightening: The average cost for a divorce hovers right around $15,000. While that may seem like an impossible sum, you’re probably more prepared to absorb the expenses than you think.

What expenses can you expect and how can you minimize them?

Actually filing for divorce isn’t that expensive (the average cost in Indiana is right around $157), so what makes a divorce so costly? Usually, the costs only start to soar when a couple can’t agree on anything about their split on their own and decide to fight everything out in court.

Discovery motions, motions in court, court time with your attorney and strategy sessions can add up to a lot. If you and your spouse are willing to work together to resolve issues surrounding your assets, debts, child custody, parenting plan and support, you can minimize those drastically.

The other expenses associated with divorce include:

  • Setting up a new residence: You and your spouse may both have to relocate following (or during) your divorce. You can minimize the expenses by asking friends and relatives for help with the actual move (instead of a moving company), buying used furniture and making do with less for a while.
  • Refinancing your car or credit cards: If you have joint debts with your spouse, you may have to refinance several of those debts into your own name as part of your divorce agreement. Comparing interest rates before you refinance can help you minimize the financial pain that can come with that process.
  • Obtaining your own phone plan, health insurance and car insurance: You may have shared these expenses with your spouse in the past, but a divorce means getting your own insurance. Again, you want to assess your options to look for the lowest possible rates that will meet your needs.

Keeping these expenses in mind can help you better plan for your future — and eliminate a lot of the extra costs associated with divorce.

Seek help with an uncontested divorce

Even if you’re successful in working with your spouse toward an uncontested (as opposed to litigated) divorce, you need to protect your interests. Working with an attorney is the best way to explore all your options.