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Keeping a level head during divorce can reduce costs

For many New Jersey couples, divorce can be an emotional time. Heated discussions as part of a divorce negotiation can lead to unplanned and emotion-led actions. According to experts, if you can stay level-headed when making divorce-related decisions, you're likely to see a better outcome and reduce overall legal expenses.

Keeping negotiations civil is one way to reduce expenses. All the arguments and back-and-forth regarding property division result in increased fees. You should also ensure transparency as much as possible through the divorce proceedings. Ethical attorneys will never suggest hiding income or assets, and doing so could result in lengthier or repeated legal battles.

Even if you plan on keeping negotiations civil, close joint accounts such as credit cards immediately. If your spouse decides to run up charges, you could be held responsible. If your spouse is willing to work with you on open balances, consider transferring them to new, single person accounts in a fair division of debt.

Do your part to increase the efficiency of the legal process. Meet with your attorney to find out what information will be needed, and make a list of that information so you don't have to constantly call and ask questions. While your attorney is there to address your legal concerns, if you can gather required information and provide it in a single, well-organized package, you make his job easier and may reduce the time he needs to spend on paperwork.

Don't make an emotional decision to hire an attorney. Allow yourself to calm down after an argument or stressful discovery so you can do the research to find an attorney that will best meet your needs. Divorce can be emotional and stressful, but it's important to realize there will be life after divorce and to make decisions and plans now that will enhance that life.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com, "5 Ways to Cut Costs During a Divorce" Elliot Grey, Oct. 27, 2013

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