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Common mistakes that make divorce more expensive

As many Pennsylvania residents who have gone through one likely know, divorce is not only emotionally difficult but can also be very expensive. While there is a common perception that lawyers are responsible for the high cost of divorce, the truth is that couples have a great deal of control over the cost of the process. Essentially, the more quickly a couple can agree on the issues in their divorce, such as alimony, child support, child custody and property division, the less the divorce will cost.

An increasingly popular way to accomplish this is through mediation. However, even with this method of alternative dispute resolution, couples can still cause their legal fees to skyrocket by making some easily avoided mistakes. Spouses will sometimes argue over minor issues, such as the exact times that children should be picked up or dropped off. This can increase the amount of time spent negotiating, which will add to the overall cost. Another common misstep that spouses make is to be inflexible. Couples can spend thousands of dollars in legal fees arguing over a minor bill, for example.

The best way for spouses to avoid unnecessary legal fees is to communicate clearly, be fair, reasonable and honest. A couple that can remain honest about assets, communicate in a calm manner and avoid fighting about minor issues, will be able to move through the divorce quickly and minimize the expense.

A family law attorney can be of assistance in helping a client who is going through a divorce by participating in the negotiation and drafting of a comprehensive settlement agreement. The more that the parties can agree on matters, the less time will have to be spent on litigating these issues.

Source: CNBC, "How to get divorced without breaking the bank", Susan Caminiti, Feb. 9, 2015

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