The reasons for divorce vary widely and, while the married couple and their children may be better off after a divorce than before, the unfortunate fact is that all parties lose something in a divorce.
Here are 7 critical things to keep in mind if you contemplate divorce.
1. Divorces are always emotionally draining, especially to children of the marriage. This is true regardless of whether the divorce is contested.
2. Early divorce counseling can help parents create an atmosphere in the divorce that will minimize the impact on children and improve communication between the parents.
3. Contested divorces are always financially draining. Contested divorces are those where there are disputes over spousal support, child support, property distribution, child custody or visitation. Most attorneys require minimum retainers of at least $3,000 and sometimes up to $10,000 to begin a contested divorce. Attorneys may also charge rates exceeding $250 per hour.
4. Early mediation can help reduce or eliminate the contested issues, significantly reducing the final cost of the divorce. The more the parties fight, the more expensive the divorce will be. Some states do not have a set formula for spousal support or property division in a contested divorce, making the cost of the final outcome of contested divorces highly unpredictable.
5. Contested divorces in which spousal or child support or distribution of property is contested will often include extensive discovery of all of the financial, insurance, retirement funds, investment funds, real estate, car titles and employment records of each party for several years prior to the filing of the divorce. This drastically increases the cost of divorce.
6. “No fault” divorces in many states require the parties to live separate and apart for a period of months before the divorce is granted. This period may be extended if there are minor children of the marriage.
7. Divorce proceedings are intended only to dissolve the marriage, distribute property and provide for the best interests of the children. Courts will not use the proceeding to “punish” a spouse.
There are many other issues that affect the emotional and financial cost of a divorce.
If you are considering divorce, call your LegalShield provider law firm first. The caring divorce lawyers at the firm will answer your questions and do all they can to reduce the emotional and financial cost of a divorce.