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How conflict can drive up the cost of divorce

As many Virginia readers may be aware, divorce litigation can be expensive. What readers may not be aware of, however, is the fact that spouses have a great deal of control over the cost of their own divorce. In other words, the cost of a divorce is proportional to how honest, fair and reasonable both parties are towards each other.

Couples who argue over every single detail, no matter how inconsequential, or refuse to negotiate are much more likely to end up in protracted litigation, which can become very expensive. Many couples who are in conflict assume that they have no choice but to fight and argue their way through their divorces. However, there are several ways for couples in conflict to negotiate their divorce successfully and without unnecessary expense.

Couples who get divorced with a minimum of conflict are able to see past minor issues and focus their attention on major things. In addition, they are able to remain flexible during negotiations. Couples may also save themselves a lot of legal headaches if they have their finances documented before the divorce proceedings.

A divorce lawyer can help a spouse prepare his or her financial documentation prior to filing for divorce. Depending on the complexity of a couple's financial assets, a lawyer may work with a certified financial planner or other financial expert to organize and document the couple's financial information.

Mediation also can help couples communicate effectively in order to reach a divorce agreement that is mutually beneficial. One drawback to mediation is that it does not ensure a fair agreement will be reached. A lawyer with a background in family law could review the agreement prior to submitting it to the judge for a final decision.

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