Nearly every divorce comes with painful emotions, along with the complicated mess of untangling what could have been years of shared finances and assets. The cost of a divorce is also something that should not be taken lightly, particularly in Florida. With an average cost of $409 to file the divorce paperwork, many Floridians who are wishing to end their marriage may find themselves unprepared. In today’s financial climate, this can be discouraging.

Divorcing couples will also need to consider the possibility of going to court for such common issues as property division, child support and parenting arrangements. This scenario could potentially raise costs and the amount of time to finalize the divorce, especially if the dispute is heated and drawn-out.

It’s not hopeless or impossible to achieve a swift and cost-effective divorce, however. The key is in planning for the unexpected and keeping an open mind. For example, even divorcing couples who are bitter toward each other may be able to resolve their disputes by respectfully communicating with each other and their attorneys and listening to the other side’s concerns.

Additionally, it can pay to be patient when navigating a Florida divorce. It’s important for each spouse to monitor their shared bank accounts before splitting; check their credit rating as the divorce proceeds; and to realize that separating marital assets and accounts can take time. In the end, careful planning and patience will most likely pay off with the feeling of liberation and peace that ending an unhappy marriage can bring.

Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal, “Florida the most expensive state in the country to file for divorce,” Aug. 4, 2014