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Negotiating out of court can help keep divorce costs low

Divorce can be a costly undertaking in a number of ways. Not only is it generally more expensive to support two households than one, but the divorce process can also be a major financial strain in and of itself. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can control the cost of your own divorce.

There are a lot of issues that must be settled in most Minnesota divorce cases, especially for couples with children. These include the division of property and debt between the spouses as well as the possibility of spousal maintenance. For parents, child custody issues, parenting time and child support must also be addressed.

Many people go into divorce assuming that these issues will be settled by a judge. Although this is true in some cases, it depends on whether the spouses are able to work with their lawyers to reach an agreement outside of court. Although it is not always possible to reach a resolution in this manner, doing so is often much less costly and time consuming than going to court.

Thus, spouses who are interested in settling their divorce as quickly and inexpensively as possible should talk to their lawyers about pursuing an out-of-court agreement. For many couples who choose this route, divorce mediation can be an effective way of identifying issues and working toward a resolution that both spouses can agree to.

Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that involves working with a professional third-party neutral called a mediator. He or she acts as a guide and facilitator to help the spouses explore their options and find a solution that works for them. To learn more about mediation and other ways of settling a divorce case out of court, set up a consultation with a family law attorney in your area.

Source: Fox Business, "How to Make Your Divorce Cheaper," Andrea Murad, May 16, 2013

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