If you are contemplating a divorce and are unsure of it because of the potential costs, you are likely not alone. With all the money that goes into planning and having a wedding, no one ever thinks about the costs of getting out of a marriage. Nevertheless, the costs are there.

Instead of paying for a lavish reception with ice sculptures and three course meals, you are likely going to pay for deposition costs, property and investment appraisals and custody evaluators. However, not every divorce has to rival the costs of a huge wedding. There are a number of ways to avoid these costs, and this post will highlight a few.

Use a mediator – Instead of going through the traditional litigation process, you can use the services of an attorney to resolve your differences and create a marital settlement agreement. A mediator is a neutral third party who is tasked with helping you to reach accommodations and come to an agreement. Mediated agreements are considerably cheaper than litigated rulings.

Use the collaborative divorce process – This is another interest-based approach that helps the parties in analyzing their situation with the use of trained professionals without going to court.

File for bankruptcy protection – One of the costliest aspects of divorce is the property division phase, where parties bicker over who is entitled to what. For parties toiling in debt, the question is largely who is responsible for paying for what. In these situations, filing for bankruptcy protection should be a last resort after determining whether it is advantageous to do so.

Participate in early evaluation programs – A judge would likely appreciate if divorcing parties took advantage of early neutral evaluation programs where an unbiased third party hears about the legal and factual issues and gives them a snapshot of how the court would rule. This helps in eliminating cursory issues, and saves money at the same time.

If you are divorcing or are considering divorce, an experienced family law attorney can help you with cost cutting decisions.