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It is no secret that divorce is costly, which is why some couples choose not to go through with it. While some expenses are inevitable no matter your circumstances, the rest you have more control over than you may think.

For example, dragging out the process raises the bill significantly. However, you can take these steps to shorten divorce proceedings and thus lower the cost.

1. Be prepared

The more time you spend going back and forth between your attorney and your spouse, the more money you will spend as well. Before you begin a divorce, make sure you have all the documents you need. You can ask your attorney what you need to bring to your first meeting, then gather the paperwork.

Do a little research on state laws regarding property division, child custody and support payments so you have an idea of what to expect. Talk to your spouse for an idea of what he or she wants from the divorce and how cooperative he or she will be.

2. Try mediation

One of the best ways to quicken the divorce is to participate in mediation instead of going straight to litigation. The process involves you and your spouse working out your own divorce terms with the help of a neutral facilitator. This approach puts you two more in control, helps you practice effective communication, increases the chances of commitment to the agreement and reduces stress for both you and your children. 

3. Put the children first

Now is not the time to fight out of anger or revenge. Speak to a counselor to help with your emotions. Then calmly and rationally address the divorce. Be willing to compromise and only persist with those things that are most important. When in doubt, always do what is best for your children even if it is inconvenient or unpleasant for you. If you and your spouse have that goal, your divorce will be faster and easier.