Here’s something that’s not news to anyone going through the process: divorce can be expensive. When a couple decides it’s time to part ways, it is almost always for emotional reasons but these issues can quickly morph into fights over money. The result can be financial devastation even in splits that started amicably. Everybody loses, except the attorneys.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Divorce doesn’t have to destroy both parties financially but the decision rests in their hands.
Though it’s often hard to do, a divorce should be unemotional. There are years of hurt and anger built up, but the split needs to be seen as a business decision. Financial decisions should be made by keeping your emotions outside of the legal process, whether through therapy or exercise.
Many couples fall into one of a few traps that lead to the endless cycle of fighting and pumped up divorce fees. Watch for the following issues and you can help avoid financial disaster.
• Anger – Couples that carry around bitterness or jealousy and an approach divorce like a war can result in sky-high legal bills. If the couple is out to destroy one another then the result is often mutual destruction.
• Ignorance – Not understanding the process, the couple can make expensive mistakes that take time and money to undo.
• Speed – Couples that are in a dead rush can create more problems than they think they’re solving. When one party is so eager to finish the marriage they can make rash and ill-advised decisions which lead to terrible consequences down the road.
Now that you know what leads to the problems, here are some strategies that can be employed to keep costs from ballooning out of control.
1. Try to cooperate, no matter how much you have to bite your tongue. It can be painful, but working together is the only way to ensure that you reach a deal without forking over your life fortune.
2. However, unless you have minimal assets and no children, don’t try to do it alone. Use an attorney to help handle the complicated process; they can actually save you money in the long run given their expertise in the field.
3. Put everything in writing. Resist the urge to work things out verbally, these deals can be forgotten or fudged later.
If you have questions about a divorce proceeding and would like one of our divorce attorneys to assist you in the matter, call us at (904) 685-1200.
Source: “The Finances of Divorce,” published at NewYorkLife.com.