Dollars Driving Divorce
It appears the divorce rate in the United States is rising right along with the rate of recovery the economy is currently experiencing. A recent article in the Financial Times says that according to the lawyers and matrimonial experts at the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the US divorce rate, which fell during the recession, is rebounding as fewer people are staying married simply because they could not afford to get divorced in the last two years. The article by Suzanne Kapner states that there is a backlog of divorces waiting to be filed. While the employment and the housing market are still recovering from the recession, the slightly stronger economy is contributing to a rebound in new divorce filings.
Divorce lawyers are already beginning to see an increase in business, as people who stayed married to save money during the recession are now better able to afford a divorce. Figures from both the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported a downturn in divorce actions during 2009. Kapner’s article states that those same attorneys are now seeing a wave of new clients, with some reporting as much as 25% increase in divorce-related business. Academy attorneys say that the economy is still affecting divorce in the nation, and that now instead of arguing about which spouse will get to keep the house, they now argue about who gets stuck paying for it.
The divorces have not become friendlier, but the disagreements have become less emotional and more finance oriented as people are changing the way they approach the cost of a divorce. Handling a divorce as a calculated business transaction can help you save time, money and trouble by separating the emotions from the finances. Reducing the cost of divorce is not trivial when you consider that the average divorce in the United States today can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000.
A general rule is that the more complicated your divorce is, the more expensive it will be. When one spouse hires an attorney, the other spouse will almost have to hire a lawyer too, and with attorney’s fees ranging between $100 and $500 an hour, the costs can add up fast. The simplest way to reduce the cost of your divorce is to negotiate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you can draw up mutual agreements on agree on the major issues in your split, like child or spousal support, child custody and the division of real property, you will spend much money on lawyers, legal fees and court costs. It is a simple fact that working together outside of the courtroom to settle your differences is always less expensive than leaving it up to the court and attorneys to hash out.
In divorces where there are not disputes over child custody or a large estate to fight over, the least expensive option may be handling the negotiation and paperwork using an online divorce forms service. A good online forms service will offer basic divorce information along with state-specific legal forms that you can file with the court by yourself.