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3 tips that could save money during a divorce

Canadians of all ages continue to end their marriages. The overall divorce rate is at 40 percent, and even older married couples are divorcing at a rate of 10 percent, double what it was in the 1990s. One of the chief concerns for anyone whose marriage is ending is the fate of their finances. Divorce is never free, but there are ways to curb expenses and make sound plans for a new financial situation.

Residents of British Columbia have the option to pursue a divorce outside the usual channels. Alternative dispute resolution techniques, like mediation, enable two people to work together in association with their representatives and an impartial mediator to formulate a separation agreement that best suits them. The results may be more satisfactory than a judge's ruling, and the process may be shorter (and hence less expensive) than spending time arguing in court.

Regardless of the type of divorce one chooses, it is a very good idea to take stock of one's financial situation. Understanding where money comes from, where it goes, and what assets and liabilities exist will allow for better planning for the future. It may also speed up the process of asset division, and any time saved is also money saved.

Lastly, and perhaps the most challenging suggestion: it can be helpful to set aside one's emotions as much as possible. This applies especially to asset division. An emotional attachment might prompt a person to hang onto an expensive asset, such as the marital home, or a vacation property, that might be resource draining to own on a single income. Though one's heart may say otherwise, the logical thing to do may be to sell such assets and share the profits.

Each divorce is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all technique for the process. However, a desire to start over on sound financial footing is universal. A skilled British Columbia lawyer who understands what a difficult time this is can help an individual find one's way through to a new life in the best way possible. 

Source: CTV News, "Tips on how to save money if divorce is the only option", Patricia Lovett-Reid, March 20, 2017

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