There are really two parts to the question -- "Can you afford to get divorced?" One, can you afford to go through the process of separating from your spouse and two, can you afford to live on your own.
The process of getting divorced can be expensive. One way to minimize the costs is to go through divorce mediation. In mediation, instead of each spouse hiring a lawyer, they use one mediator to help them come to an agreement on issues of parenting, child support, alimony and distribution of assets and debts. The process saves time and money and allows for creative solutions. In addition, while lawyers may ask for a large retainer up-front, mediation is often "pay-as- you-go", allowing you more financial flexibility. By using one less expensive mediator instead of two high priced lawyers, divorce mediation offers a cost-effective path.
Secondly, can you afford to maintain two households on the same income that you combined for one? Usually, the answer is "no" and both parties take a financial hit. Still, this downturn can be short-term, and there are ways to lessen the impact. Start now, by going through your budget, and see where you can make some cuts. Investigate ways to maximize your income, by consolidating your debt, refinancing your mortgage, or taking on extra work. Examine your investments and health insurance expenses to see if you can modify them to create a better financial plan for you. Sometimes a combination of small steps can make a big impact.
If you are ready to get divorced, you should not be scared off by the expense of it all. There are steps you can take to make both the process and your post-divorce life more affordable.