Preparing for Divorce
Anyone considering a divorce has a big job ahead of them. Divorces are never a quick and easy way to fix a bad relationship despite what some people might think. Instead of a casual stroll in the park, a typical divorce is more likely to be a turbulent event that turns a person’s life completely upside down before things settle out.
Divorces are usually quite expensive too, and not just financially. In addition to the attorney’s fees and other costs to get divorced, it can also require a lot of time, energy and emotion. A bitter divorce battle contested in court can be both emotionally and financially devastating and there is no guarantee you’re going to like the outcome of the experience either. There’s no doubt about the fact that getting divorced can be a risky proposition, especially if you are unprepared for what lies ahead. Your post-divorce life is not likely to be perfect either, especially when you consider that statistics show that married people make more money, live longer and are generally happier overall than people who have been divorced. Considering the cost and risks associated with a divorce, getting unhitched starts looking more like a huge problem and less like a solution to life’s problems.
Before you file those divorce papers it might be time to take a closer look at your options. Perhaps you shouldn’t get divorced at all if you are unsure about it. Before you dump your marriage completely maybe some counseling could ensure you are making the right decisions for your situation. Professional therapy for couples is widely available and individual counseling can be beneficial too. Or maybe one last romantic get-away or vacation could rekindle your relationship. One thing is for certain though, anything you do to save your marriage will definitely cost a lot less than a divorce ultimately will.
You will also need to take steps to make sure you can live alone. Single life after divorce means you will have to pay all of your bills and living costs by yourself. You will need to make sure you will be able to afford to pay for rent, utilities, gas, food and insurance on your own. If you own your home, you may have the burden of having to buy out your spouse’s interest in the property in order to continue living there.
If you live in one of the community property states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin) the assets acquired during the marriage will be divided equally. All of the other states in the U.S. use equitable property laws, and all marital assets in a divorce are divided by the court according to what is equitable and not an equal 50/50 split. It helps to be realistic about your assets and debts because court mandated property divisions in divorces are not always what people expect them to be. You should examine all your assets and debts including mortgage, taxes, insurance, stocks, retirement accounts and investments to know exactly what your financial position really is before you file for a divorce.