On average, Americans spend about $15,000 per person on divorce. Between the costs of attorneys, court fees, appraisals, child custody evaluators and more, divorcing couples can have many expenses.

However, divorce may be the best choice for your future, despite the expense. To protect your finances, you can take steps to keep your costs as low as possible. Here are a few tips to lower the price of divorce:

  • Organize your financial records before you talk to an attorney – An attorney will work to make sure you get a fair share of any marital assets. But if you don’t have your financial records organized, they will have to take time to do that for you. Organizing all your financial documents can help save your attorney time, which can save you money on attorney fees.
  • Do your best to work with your spouse – Splitting your property can be a battle. But if you and your spouse can calmly work together, you can decide how to split everything. Your attorneys don’t have to fight in court. However, you and your spouse must be able to get along enough to agree.
  • Try to stay out of court – Mediation and collaborative divorce can help you and your spouse settle without a courtroom. These alternatives to court can also be much cheaper. With mediation, a neutral mediator helps you and your spouse decide how to split property and create a parenting plan. In collaborative divorce, you, your spouse and your attorneys work together to reach a settlement.

With proper planning, you can help keep your costs as low as possible. And keeping costs low before and during divorce can help protect your financial future after divorce.