Anyone who thinks a divorce is an easy solution to a rocky marriage will quickly find that a divorce is far more likely to be a very stressful event instead. Divorces can be quite expensive and they can be emotionally taxing as well. Many studies have shown that married couples earn more, live longer and are happier than singles that have gone through a divorce. In fact, when you add up all of the costs, obtaining a divorce might be a bigger problem than an unhappy marriage.
Those unsure of how their divorce might turn out may want to consider getting some counseling before they file any papers with the court. Marriage therapy or some other from professional counseling can sometimes give a married relationship some new life and will be far less expensive than a divorce. Divorce mediation is another option and the cost of a professional mediator can be split by both spouses. When a divorce is inevitable, a mediator can help make sure the process is as easy as possible on everyone, especially when there are children involved. If mediation does not work, you can always go back to court instead.
If you decide to hire a divorce attorney to handle your case, make sure you hire a local lawyer that has plenty of experience in family law. Even if you do retain a lawyer, you will still have many decisions to make and it helps to understand how the process works.
If you do not plan to hire an attorney to handle your divorce you still might benefit from an initial consultation with a lawyer to help plan your case. If you are on good terms with your spouse and the divorce is a mutual agreement, you can try handling your own case with help from an online divorce service that will help you gather and prepare your own divorce documents for far less money than legal representation for both sides would cost. Cases with issues concerning child custody or large assets to divide might be better handled by a divorce attorney. The savings can be considerable when you consider that an online divorce service will cost far less than $500 for a complete divorce in most jurisdictions, but the cost of online divorce services can vary depending on the state and the complexity of each individual case.
Once you do complete a divorce to will also require losing half of all your assets if you live in a community property state like Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin, where the assets you acquired during your marriage will be divided equally. All of the other states in the nation rely on equitable property laws where marital assets are divided according to what is equitable, and not exactly equal. In equitable property state the court will take each spouse’s financial situation and responsibilities into consideration and divide the assets and real property according to what the court deems fair and equitable.
Getting a divorce also means you will eventually be paying all of your bills by yourself and you will have to figure out if you will be able to afford to pay for housing, utilities, gas, food and insurance on your own. Getting a divorce is does not have to be a disaster, but it could turn into one if you don’t give the matter some serious consideration before taking action. You can research the topic of divorce online to get the information regarding the laws in your area and you can find divorce or family lawyers in your area online too. A bit of online research will also allow you to find information regarding specific divorce issues like child custody or property division as well.
Some states now require mandatory counseling for all divorcing parents with dependant children in the home. The instruction will usually center on improving family communication and making the divorce less traumatic for everyone involved. You can also consult a Certified Divorce Planner or a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst for assistance in settlement negotiations and long-range financial planning, however, professional assistance can be expensive and the hourly rates can be nearly as high as the rates a divorce attorney would charge.
When both spouses cannot agree on the terms of a divorce, a divorce mediator can improve the communication process and provide suggestions to create a mutually agreed upon settlement that can be submitted to the court. Although the final terms of a divorce are ultimately determined by the court, mutual agreements that both spouses have agreed to privately will carry some weight too.
Battling over the terms of a divorce settlement in court will increase the emotional, financial and psychological costs for everyone involved. This explains why most divorces in the U.S. today are uncontested no-fault affairs where both spouses arrive in court with prior agreements on property, children and support issues. When both parties can agree on the basic issues, it is almost a certainty that the divorce will be far easier and less costly for everyone involved.