Pre-Divorce Considerations

Aug 8, 2012 by

Anyone who might think getting a divorce will be a quick and easy fix for the problems in their life has a few surprises ahead of them. A divorce is more likely to be a traumatic event affecting every part of your life than it will be a walk in the park. Divorces can be expensive and if you are unrealistic or unprepared, a divorce can be emotionally devastating too. Far from solving all of life’s problems, studies have shown that married people make more money, live longer and are happier than people who get divorced. When you consider the costs and weigh the risks, getting a divorce might start looking less like a solution and more like a problem.

If you are unsure about how your own divorce might turn out, maybe you should consider some marriage counseling before you start filing papers. Marriage therapy with professional counseling might rekindle your relationship and any money spent to save a marriage will always be less costly than getting a divorce. Divorce mediation can also be a good and the services of a professional divorce mediator can be split by both spouses. A mediator can help make sure a break-up is resolved smoothly and the process is as easy as possible for everyone, especially if there are children involved. If mediation is not satisfactory, you can always go back to court later.

If you are planning on hiring a divorce attorney to handle your case, make sure you get a local lawyer that has experience in family law. If you do not plan to use an attorney you should consider an initial consultation with one to help you plan your strategy. If you don’t have any children, are on speaking terms with your spouse and the divorce is a mutual agreement, you may be able to handle your own split with the aid of an online divorce service. Gathering and preparing your own documents is far less expensive than an in-court divorce with legal representation. In cases where there are complex issues concerning child custody or large amounts of assets to divide, you might be better off with a divorce attorney. If you don’t need an attorney, the savings can be significant as a divorce lawyer will likely charge over $200 per hour. An online divorce service will usually cost less than $500 for a complete divorce. The price can vary depending on the state and county of the client’s residence and the complexity of each case.

Most people don’t like to think about the fact that getting a divorce can also mean losing half or more of your assets. The division of property and assets are dictated by the laws of the state you live in 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 the marriage will be divided equally. All of the other states in the U.S. use equitable property laws, and that means all assets in a divorce will be divided according to what is equitable, not equal. The court will take each spouse’s situation and responsibilities into consideration and will award the assets and real property according to what the judge determines as fair.

Life after a divorce often means living alone and paying all of your bills by yourself, unlike when you had a partner to help out. If you have to move out or end up with the option of staying in your home, you will have to determine if you will be able to afford to pay for rent, utilities, gas, food and insurance on your own. The support of your family, friends and community can go a long way to smoothing out bumps in the road after a divorce. Schools and churches often host post-divorce support groups and new activities can help take your mind off of the past. Getting a divorce is obviously not a simple task to be taken lightly, it”˜s a serious job that should receive serious consideration.


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