The Shocking Cost Of Getting Divorced

And you thought your fairy-tale wedding was expensive: You can expect to pay an average of $15,000 to $20,000 in order to get a divorce. Yep, the cost of getting un-married can be even higher than that of getting married. The major costs typically include mediation, neutral evaluations, custody evaluations if you have kids, court costs, and, of course, attorney costs.

If you get any sort of heads-up that the end might be near (and often there are signs, even if we ignore them), it's a good idea to get your ducks in a row as early as possible. A little work up front can save you time and hassle down the road if the shit does hit the fan (and trust us, if that happens, paperwork is going to be the last thing you want to deal with).

Related: 3 Ways To Slay Your Debt Once And For All

Make sure to make copies of:
· Most recent tax returns
· Bank statements
· Retirement statements: 401(k), IRA, etc.
· Investment statements
· Mortgage statements
· Life insurance policies

While you have access to your and your partner's statements, make copies. Because if you're getting divorced, you’ll end up with access to your own documents only — which doesn’t paint a very accurate picture of your life together.

Gather these materials and store them at a trusted friend or family member’s house. Hopefully you'll never need them, but if you do, you’ll be glad to have everything organized and in one place.

Also, it’s important not to fly off the handle until you get organized. A level head is your best asset. So take care of your “in case of emergency” fund and have your paperwork ready before you address that mysterious credit-card charge to Tiffany’s (no, your birthday isn’t coming up). Big picture, people. Be prepared before you pounce.

Next: The 3 Things You Need To Know About Your Money Before Starting A Relationship

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