This is a question that lingers in many people’s minds. Are divorces expensive? The answer is Maybe. There is an impression that divorce comes along with a hefty price tag. This impression has proven to be true some of the time but the price tag is not only placed on money alone but also other factors of life.
Then why is it so expensive to get out of an unhappy marriage? Divorce leaves you with a financial blow that will take you 10 years to recover. Can you imagine having to toil for 10 years in order to recover and catch up with your financial life? Yes, it is a bitter pill but you have to swallow it. Continue reading the article to get a clearer picture on why divorce is so expensive.
Failure to be Reasonable in Divorce
Being unreasonable in divorce results to an endless circle of costs and craziness. As you become more unreasonable in divorce, you continue fighting with your spouse. These fights are more emotionally invested.
The more you fight, the more emotionally drained you become. The more emotionally invested you become, the less reasonable you become. And the cycle goes on and on. The main reason behind fighting is for one of you to win. But here is the truth: no one wins in divorce.
You should be focusing on how to divide your property and other stuff or how to take care of the kids instead of fighting to win because in fighting, you both get to lose. The bottom line behind this is that the more you fight, the more compromising you become and since this happens in court, your charges become higher everyday, then you end up losing a lot. You definitely know that going to court is one of the primary ways used to make divorce more expensive.
Dragging out Discovery in Divorce
Discovery in divorce is a process where you and your spouse get to know information about one another in your divorce. Depending on where you live, this process entails filling out financial affidavits which have full information. In this case, you will be expected to produce some financial documents like bank statements, tax returns, as well as other financial documents. In this case, you may be required to answer very detailed financial questions or present yourself for a deposition.
The process of discovery is quite expensive. It does not only require you to produce, analyze and organize your information, you are also required to have an approval from your lawyer. Most lawyers charge around $300 – $500 per hour. If you drag the process, then this can amount to millions of dollars in a very short duration.
If you take your process faster but your spouse drags his or her process, the process takes longer and more money builds up. Every time the lawyers have to present themselves in court and compel you or your spouse to give out your financial information, more money is added. And every time the lawyers have to go to a conference meeting to tell the judge nothing is going on, the judge goes on with the case. Remember, all that costs money. Therefore, more and more debt is piling up.
Going to Divorce Court
This is the primary source of high costs in divorce. There are many instances when you have to pay your lawyer as indicated below:
● Every time the lawyer has to get ready for a contested hearing
● Everytime the lawyers meet and talk
● Every time lawyers write letters to each other
The court process is very expensive to deal with your divorce. Thankfully, these days there are alternatives where you don’t have to litigate your divorce. Options like mediation and collaborative divorce go a long way in helping you save money. But don’t get your head over heels on this one. It is also costly.
In this case, if your spouse fails to be reasonable and maybe delay the process, you are definitely going to experience a high shoot in your costs. If you or your spouse drags his or her feet in delivering financial information, the costs will definitely go high. The worst case scenario is when your spouse refuses to produce financial information or either you or your spouse actively hides the money, both mediation and collaborative divorce does not work at all.
You definitely have to move to a new place after divorce. How much will the new place cost? You may be required to pay 2 to 3 months security before moving in. In some situations, the house you get becomes more expensive than the previous house. Remember, may be in the previous house you were sharing costs with your spouse. Now you have to do it solely.
Remember, you have to move your things to the new house. You will require moving fees, furniture, extra cutlery, cleaning supplies as well as entertainment money. This is quite expensive. Don’t forget laundry costs and hiring cleaners to clean your new house.
Alimony and child support
After divorce, you may be forced to pay alimony and child support. Alimony is also known as spousal support to one of the former spouses. It is based on the decision by the couple themselves or an order from the court.
It is used to compensate any divorce charges to the non-wage earning or the spouse earning a lower amount. One spouse may have been forced to forego their career and support the family and may need time to develop other job skills and get a new job to support themselves. It is also used in order to help one spouse continue the standard of living that was there during their marriage.
When a married couple divorces, the parent who does not take the custody of the child might be forced by the government to pay some part of his or her earnings as child support. If you are making child support, you should take it seriously because failure to do so, you may negatively affect your credit score and if it becomes serious, you may even end up in jail. Child support mandates you to pay for summer camp, tuition fees, college funds, after school activities, and upkeep funds.
Yes, you need more than a lawyer. Due to the detailed processes, you may be required to hire an accountant to cater for your financial issues and budget them well. That is labor and you have to pay them. You may think that a lawyer is enough to tell you the figures you need but an accountant would validate each dollar spent. There are also filing fees, and extra charges like printing required documents, paying the driver or taking a cab to court every time you have a case. At some point, you have to chip in and buy a meal for one person or two after the court proceedings. There are quite a large number of those little expenses people overlook. Yes, they may cost you a lot. Finances are quite a blow during divorce. It can cost you as much as you used to pay for mortgage. If your spouse decides to be a jerk, then you might be tempted to be a jerk too and drag the divorce process.
The simplest way of making divorce less expensive is not to divorce at all. Here are tips on how to evade divorce:
● Marry your friend – marriage is a tough road to walk. Walking it with someone who is not your friend can be a very tough experience. A friend will be able to endure the tough storms that come through.
● Solve the small misunderstandings – divorce is brought about by the little misunderstandings between couples. If you spot a misunderstanding, sit down, hold a conversation and solve the problem at hand.
● Live within your means – stretching beyond what you can afford as a couple can bring financial misunderstandings. Live within your means. Take your kids to a school you can afford. Live in an affordable neighbourhood. This way, you can build an empire together and develop smoothly.
● Watch the nature of your spouse before getting married – before you go down on one knee and before you reach a stage of saying yes, learn your partner’s behavior and understand them. Have an open mind and be ready to put up with behaviors you do not like.
In situations where marriage becomes unbearable and you have to divorce, then below are tips to make your divorce less expensive:
Exchange your information voluntarily instead of through formal discovery
There are some information required during divorce like disclosure of assets, property and taxes. If you use formal discovery, this process is quite expensive and time-consuming because you may need to do interrogations and depositions. These processes will need the presence of an attorney and as discussed earlier, attorneys are very expensive. Just offer your required documents voluntarily and make the process cheaper and less time-consuming.
Understand your divorce attorney’s role
I understand that it can be quite an emotional challenge to talk to your spouse when undergoing divorce. However, it can be less expensive to exchange information among yourselves instead of using an attorney. Attorneys make excellent advisers and they have a good understanding of the law and the procedures needed but you don’t have to have an attorney. You can choose to just communicate on the basic stuff with your attorney. But if communicating with your spouse will elongate, then you can choose to lean on your attorney to fasten the process.
Keep your money separate during marriage
When you marry someone, you can keep some of your property personal and separate from your spouse. Anything that you owned before marriage inclusive of inheritance, gifts and other possessions. Any profits you acquire through your assets are solely yours.
You can keep these in a separate account during marriage. This will fasten the divorce process and it will be a cheaper process since it will be easier to see which assets belong to you and make the lengthy and costly court proceedings become less.
Communicate with your attorney
Talking about your divorce can be so hard but expressing your thoughts clearly through your attorney regarding the proceedings can help make sure that you are on the same page. Your attorney will never know if they are representing your best interests unless you take time and speak to them about the details. Do not fear criticism and judgement from the person who is there to protect you. If you are forthright, you will be in a position to streamline your divorce process.
Remember, it is not only your finances that will be a burden. Remember the emotional turmoil that you will go through. Never forget that this might lead you into depression. The therapist visits you will need to get out of the situation may be too costly. Stomach ulcers are also real. There are more diseases that you can get from the stress undergone during divorce. These may send you to hospital and you will encounter more bills over there.
Your children will also be affected. It is not easy for kids to see their parents separate. They take long to adapt to living with one parent. Their performance in school may be adversely affected. Again, they may find it hard to share what they are going through with their friends. How do they end up? In depression. More and more bills.
Remember, your financial strength is what makes you develop in life. Choose the right method if you have to divorce. Otherwise do not divorce at all. If you have to divorce, follow the tips that I have highlighted above and you will be able to save some cash for your financial strength even to be able to meet the bills after you have officially separated with your spouse..
Is divorce expensive? The fact remains: yes, it can be, if you fight, it surely will be. If you go to trial, divorce is very expensive. Plan yourself wisely, marry wisely, budget wisely, and live wisely. Conduct your court proceedings wisely too.
Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation
When you need legal help for a divorce case in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506