Getting a divorce can be a stressful and frustrating experience for everyone involved. On top of the emotional stress both parties can face, there are logistical challenges of dividing property, moving, and determining custody arrangements and establishing co-parenting strategies. Unfortunately, exorbitant legal expenses often get added to this list of stressors.

Divorce does become very costly when ex-spouses can’t agree on anything, and one or both parties resort to lawyers to solve each and every issue — but the reality is, divorce simply doesn’t have to be so expensive or stressful.

Divorce Expenses

It’s impossible to say what a typical divorce costs, because prices vary incredibly. Divorces happen every day with price tags ranging from a few hundred dollars to six digit figures. Where you live, what assets you have, and if you have children can all affect the cost of a divorce. As a rule of thumb, the more intertwined your lives have become, the costlier a divorce tends to be.

By far the most expensive part of most divorces are lawyers’ fees. Meetings, phone calls, and consultations with a lawyer quickly add up, and generally both parties will have their own lawyer. For parties that are particularly stubborn or whose marriage ended on vary acrimonious terms, lawyer fees can pile up quickly as both sides refuse to agree on anything.

The most expensive divorces are those that drag on forever because no one wants to agree. It’s also important to note that while the financial expense of a long and hostile divorce is trying for everyone involved, the emotional expense is equally challenging. This is especially true if there are children involved who can suffer considerably during a long and drawn out divorce.

Minimizing Costs

When both parties can communicate openly and respectfully in order to come to a consensus, a divorce will usually be much less complicated —and thus, much less costly. Participating in divorce mediation or counseling can help divorcing parties come to decisions more quickly, with minimal involvement from divorce lawyers. Meeting with a neutral third party can help move conversations forward so that everyone walks away feeling like the process was fair and economical. When mediation works, both parties can move on with their new lives more quickly — and without emptying their savings accounts.

Finding a Qualified Divorce Mediation Specialist

If you are going through or are expecting to go through a divorce, consider hiring a divorce mediation specialist to help with the process. A specialist will be able to meet with you and your spouse as you work through the difficult process of dividing up your lives.

Look online for specialists in your area who have high ratings for effectiveness and client satisfaction. While hiring an inexperienced or inadequate specialist could further complicate your situation, a qualified divorce mediation specialist can help make the divorce process much smoother and less hostile, while saving you money in the long run. Divorce may never be the ideal situation, but the actually process can be amicable and effective with the right tools and professional assistance.