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Protecting your bank account in divorce: Tips for saving cash

Worrying about your spouse running off with the funds in your bank account isn't the only thing you need to worry about during a divorce. There are dozens of ways to spend more than you should or lose out on money you could otherwise keep.

Your finances are important, and it's a good idea to know what you're getting into before you begin the divorce process. Here are a few things you should know.

1. Fighting is costly

If you and your spouse can't make decisions on your own through negotiation or mediation, you'll end up spending more on your divorce. If you have to negotiate through your attorneys, your attorneys will charge you for each negotiation session and the time it takes to come to a resolution. If you have to go to court, a judge will make a decision that impacts you regardless of what you think of the outcome. Save yourself money by focusing on how you can compromise, as both parties usually wind up happier with the outcome, even when it isn't perfect.

2. Don't focus on the small things

Failing to negotiate can lead to extra expenses. Disputes over small items or things you didn't expect your spouse to want may arise. The reality is that anything you fight over will make your divorce last longer. The longer a divorce takes, the more it costs. By the time you reach accord, you could find that the added expenses would have covered the replacement value many times over.

3. Don't waste your bargaining power on the house

Houses hold a lot of value, but that doesn't mean it's the right asset for you to retain. You can end up costing yourself thousands and lose your home if you're not prepared to pay for the mortgage, taxes, upkeep and other related expenses. In the end, fighting to keep a house you can't afford could end up costing you more than if you allowed your spouse to keep it or if you both decided to sell it. Emotional value aside, the financial reality may be that keeping your home isn't right for you.

These are a few ways you could end up costing yourself more during your divorce. By extending a divorce with disputes, fighting for assets you can't afford and disputing every small thing you find wrong during the divorce, you'll cost yourself more money. Take the time to have a discussion with your attorney about what you should do to save time and money. You'll be happier if you walk away in good financial shape and without a years-long divorce in your past.

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