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Costs of divorce can quickly add up

California couples who have been through one know divorces aren't cheap. Not only are the emotional costs high, but so are the financial costs. The average divorce can cost $15,000 to $20,000 in legal and other professional costs alone, and when it is bitterly contested it can cost quite a bit more.

When they're contemplating a divorce, many people do not consider the costs of starting over, of setting up a new household. Those who are moving out of their family homes may be able to negotiate a property division that includes some furnishings and household goods. If not, they are going to have to buy it to set up their new household. Buying everything at once is a lot more expensive than buying a few things at a time over the life of a marriage. Plus, a divorced person will need money for other costs, such as mortgage payments or rent and child care.

Divorcing couples should try to work out a property settlement on their own, but this is sometimes not possible. They then may want to have their respective attorneys handle negotiations. Before meeting with an attorney, a divorcing spouse should have an accurate picture of the couple's finances and marital assets. In some cases, an appraisal of certain items may be necessary.

In many cases, people who are facing the end of a marriage just want to get the process over with as quickly as possible. While this is understandable, family law attorneys will often remind their clients that rushing through it may cause financial problems down the road if negotiations aren't thoroughly and professionally handled.

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