Celebrity news is inundated with scandal, marriage, separation and divorce stories. Most people find such news not only entertaining but may also marvel at the cost of divorce and settlements reported. For instance, Madonna reportedly settled for $75 million as part of her divorce. But, her settlement pales in comparison to Mel Gibson and Rupert Murdoch’s divorces of $425 million and $1.7 billion respectively.

It is difficult for an average American family to fathom the cost associated with celebrity divorce. No one plans for a divorce, but when irreconcilable differences arise, it may be the only option a couple has. Reading and hearing about the cost of divorce may be disheartening to individuals who are struggling to make ends meet. However, Michigan residents may find it comforting to learn about some ways to get an affordable divorce, and to amicably dissolve a marriage.

The cost of a divorce may vary depending on several factors, such as where a person is located, if there is property involved, if there was a prenuptial agreement, court costs, fees for custody evaluations, mediation costs and attorney fees. Further, when property is involved, a couple may expect to pay refinancing cost and deed fees.

Not everyone will consider a prenuptial agreement before marriage, but it is one way to keep the cost of a divorce down. Divorce is not an easy process, but one tip to keep in mind is to come to an agreement on issues as fast as possible. The longer a couple quibbles, the longer the divorce process can last and the higher the costs can get. It is important for couples to understand the financial consequences of a divorce settlement, particularly when it comes to taxes, investments and insurance. Even though emotions will run high, it is essential to keep negotiations civil to keep the process moving.

Source: Huffington Post, “How Much Does the Average Divorce Really Cost?,” Laura Seldon, May 30, 2013