Agreed Divorce MoneyHave you ever seen “that” couple that seems like they are nothing more than roommates going through the motions? You talk to them individually and the excuse is, “It would just cost too much to get divorced, so we stay married.” If both partners are miserable and want out, an agreed divorce can keep costs down and let them both move on with their lives.

Another term for this “agreement” is uncontested divorce. Basically, the couple agrees to terms concerning the split of assets, child custody, and support. A misconception is that both parties must agree totally on every point without the need for attorneys or a mediator, but this is not true. These professionals can be used to iron out the final details and allow the couple to keep emotions out of the negotiations.

Each partner can provide their attorney with points they are willing to concede and/or “must have” items. As long as both parties are willing to negotiate, the attorneys and/or mediators should be able to work out an agreement that will satisfy both parties. While these negotiations are ongoing, it is very important to keep an open mind and avoid confrontation if you want the uncontested divorce finalized.

The entire point of going this route it is to keep expenses down (it is estimated that contested divorces can cost in excess of $20,000). That being said, you need to consider lifting your attachment to some of your “must have” items if these same items are on the list of your soon-to-be ex. For example, you both have the car and boat on your list. Is it really worth the money to go to court over these items when you can simply offer one up to your spouse and take the other? Granted, your spouse needs to be just as open to “give and take” for this to work.

Examples such as these are when mediation works very well. Instead of harboring ill will during a nasty divorce, the mediators and attorneys work with the couple to negotiate these tricky areas. While these professionals are technically working out the details, the couple plays a large part in keeping the case out of the court system, thereby significantly reducing the cost of divorce.

Today, there is no need to have a divorce drag through the courts for months and cost each partner five figures. Instead, take advantage of family lawyers specializing in divorce and/or mediators that can work through the few issues you have and allow you to reach an agreement before appearing in front of a judge. Even if you concede a few points, it will likely cost you far less to go this route than to partake in a long, ugly divorce battle.

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