Making a decision to end a marriage is not an easy one, especially if there are children involved. When you stand at the altar and profess your vows to each other, you don’t think there will ever be a day where you are sat on opposite sides of a polished wooden table, with lawyers by your side and your entire lives spread out in front of you. Divorce is messy. It doesn’t matter how amicable or how easy it may look like on paper, it’s messy. You’re ending a love and that isn’t something to be taken lightly, especially as the amount of money that it will cost you to end your marriage needs to be considered.
What is the True Cost of Divorce?
You don’t have to be particularly wealthy to be able to divorce, but there are some costs involved that a preapproved credit card cannot cover you for. There are emotional consequences involved in divorce, of course, there are, but the financial consequences can be crippling, and so you really need to ensure that you’ve tried everything possible to make your marriage work before you call time. It’s not just a change of your lifestyle, it can have a huge impact on your finances. Dividing assets and property, bank accounts and even the time you spend with your children, costs money in legal fees, court fees, lawyers retainers – even the cost of a new home to live in should you be the one to move out. If you are standing on the edge of a divorce and about to decide either way which way to go, you need to be aware of the three main costs:
- Attorney Fees. You don’t necessarily need one, but I highly recommend you get one. A divorce attorney can help your divorce run smoothly. Divorce lawyers tend to charge by the hour, though, so this is a cost that can ramp up very quickly depending on the amount of time that you spend in court. Mediation can be a much cheaper alternative, but it’s not always the best route for some.
- Court Fees. No one wants to get up and stand in front of a court to defend their assets and their actions, but this is where things can end up if mediation doesn’t work out. You have to pay the court when you file a petition, and these court costs can and do add up.
- Financial Loss. If you have children involved in your family, then it makes sense that you will be paying costs to get equal access to the children, and possibly you will also be paying spousal support and child support.
Divorce is so much more than just the financial costs. You have to consider exactly what you are doing when going through the divorce process. If there are children in the mix, things are going to be a lot harder to deal with emotionally. Take your time when making such a huge life decision, and don’t fool yourself that the journey will be an easy one, even if you are still friends.
Contributed post. Paid featured image via Deposit Photos.