Real Cost of Divorce
A divorce is never quite the cheap and easy fix for an unhappy marriage that people might think it to be and anyone who thinks divorce is a trivial matter has a few surprises coming their way. Getting a divorce is more likely to be a stressful event that causes upheaval in every part of your life. Far from solving all of life’s problems, divorces can be expensive and if you are unrealistic or unprepared, they can be emotionally devastating too. Study after study has shown that happily married couples make more money, live longer and are happier than people who have been through a divorce. When you start adding up the real price of becoming single again, getting a divorce might start looking like the problem, and not the unhappy marriage itself.
Anyone who is not certain about what it is they want and are unsure of how their divorce might turn out, might want to consider getting some marriage counseling before they start filing papers with the court. A bit of marriage therapy along with professional counseling might give your spousal relationship some new life and any cash you spend to save your marriage will always be less expensive than going through with a divorce. Divorce mediation is another good option and the cost of a professional divorce mediator can be split evenly by both parties. If a divorce is inevitable, a mediator can help ensure the split is handled smoothly and the process is as easy as possible on everyone involved, especially children. If an attempted mediation simply does not work out, you can always go back to court instead.
If you have the resources to hire a divorce attorney to handle your case, make sure you hire a local lawyer that has plenty of experience in family law. If you do not plan to use an attorney, you still might want to consider a one-time, initial consultation with one to help plan your case. If you don’t have any children, are on speaking terms with your spouse and the divorce is a mutual agreement, you can take a shot at handling your own case with some help from an online divorce service. If you can gather and prepare your own divorce documents it will be far less expensive than an all-out battle in the courtroom with legal representation for both sides. In certain cases involving complex issues concerning child custody or large assets to divide, it might be best to go with a divorce attorney. The saving are clear when you consider that most divorce lawyers will charge over $200 per hour and an online divorce service will probably cost less than $500 for a complete divorce in most jurisdictions. Of course, the prices will vary depending on the state and county of residence and the complexity of each individual case.
Getting a divorce also means splitting up your assets and if you live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin), the assets you acquired during your marriage will be divided equally. All of the other states in the nation use equitable property laws, and that means all assets in a divorce will be divided according to what is equitable, and not exactly equal. The court will take each spouse’s financial situation and responsibilities into consideration and will divide your assets and real property according to what the court deems fair and equitable.
Getting a divorce also means you will be living alone and will have the burden of paying all of your bills by yourself. If you have the ability to stay in your current home as a single person, you will have to figure out if you will be able to afford to pay for rent, utilities, gas, food and insurance on your own. Many newly divorced people find comfort in the support from family, friends and community and often new activities can help take your mind off of the past as well. Getting a divorce is not always a disaster, but it could turn into one quickly if you don’t give the matter some serious consideration before diving in.