Divorce Is Expensive – Think Before You Break The Bond!

For many people, divorce is a sad thing. Either or both the partners is in an emotional trauma and as though that is not enough there are huge monetary expenses involved too. As you might have expected divorce is not like breaking with your dating or living-in partner where you just walk out of the relationship without actually having to pay a dime. Divorce involves a lot of legal hassles which involve the expenditure of money. Laws have made it worse or good depending on the party that is at a loss or gain. Most often it’s a win/lose situation with the partner wanting to separate having to pay compensation to the other. A win/win situation happens when people divorce by mutual consent where you separate willingly from each other without any financial hassles. These are not the only expenses that divorce involves. Having children makes you make more payments.

Child Support Issues

Here are some money matters that you need to look into before you contemplate breaking that bond.

A large number of children – If you have a large number of children, you’d better think twice before thinking of going for a divorce. You’ve got to pay up for their college education if they are big and that can be quite burdensome. Even with half a dozen young children, you’re not better off as all the way you’ve got to pay up for their maintenance. If you’re a rich person, you’ll not feel the pinch, but you’d better think out if you’re just an economically average person. In general, the amount that the non-custodial parent has to pay depends upon the family income and also on the number of children you have… You will also be asked to give the same financial support to your children that you gave when you were in marriage. This depends on the state laws also. So if you have half a dozen children better forget the idea. Isn’t it a better alternative to forget that new girlfriend or boyfriend rather than take up all these expenditures? You think out while moving over to the next hassle.

Who pays the medical bills?… Normally the custodial parent pays up to a certain extent after which the other parent has to take up. Generally, before the divorce, you don’t think of any such distribution of payments. You are one family and the person with the higher pay takes up the responsibility. But after the split things might be complicated while settling this issue. You got to follow the written instructions on the divorce papers. There will definitely be some divorce and medical expenditures that will not be covered under any insurance plans if you already have some. Also if you’ve taken joint family health insurance prior to divorce, sorting out the individual insurance amounts can be a pain in the neck! Are you prepared to take all these hassles? If yes go ahead. I wish you ‘happy’ separation. Otherwise, it’s better for you to forget divorce and think about reconciliation.

What about belongings?-When you were in marriage you bought material for your children and some your partner did. They were gifts during the good old times when you were a happy family. After you get separated there is something called equitable distribution, under which both parents can use these items when they stay in their designated time slots with their children. You might think of separation now, but won’t these things remind you of the happy times that you spent with your family? Is it worth separating, if you’re the one taking the decision?

Pay for college education even if your child is a primary school kid now -If you think you’re doing something smart by applying for divorce when your child is still a primary school kid, you’re mistaken. You’ve got to pay for the college education of your child even if he/she is years away from a college education. You cannot escape that. Either you pay up the fee now or forget divorce. Think and tell me what appears sensible to you. To me, the latter appears a more sensible thing to do given the financial crunch you’ll experience.

Divorce Is ExpensiveWell, this is what you have to pay for your children. But there are couples who don’t have children. They are definitely luckier when it comes to the monetary overhead of divorce, but there too there are some monetary overheads that you should consider.

Divorce Expenses When you don’t Have Children

Hiring Attorneys- For getting a divorce it’s not mandatory to take the services of an attorney. But you might have to in the case of disputes. Hiring attorneys is surely going to smooth out your dealings, but you’ve got to pay a mighty big fee to them. At the end, you might just realize that the fees for the attorneys far exceed your budget for the breakup. People who generally have some joint assets, or if one is dependent on the other, hire attorneys to resolve things fairly between each other.

Joint Debt- In greener days, you might have wanted to buy some property along with your spouse and might have taken a joint loan on that. It would’ve been nice if you’d have continued that way. But when you part, you still have that debt on you which you’ve got to clear off jointly even if you don’t stay together. You’ve got to pay the same way till the balance is cleared. But I think the problem doesn’t stop there. After the dues are paid the question of who shall own the property will start off a fresh dispute. Even if you’d want to sell it the question of distribution of the profits is again a matter of dispute. Do you realize how difficult it is for you to split?

Insurance issues – If you’ve been providing insurance cover for your spouse you should do even after divorce, especially if he/she were dependent on you. But all these are dependent on the plans that you’ve taken. You should discuss these out with your attorneys before you take divorce or while the procedure is going on. Some insurance covers are not a part of a divorce. Health insurance and life insurance terms and conditions, in the new situation, should be thoroughly understood and settled. These insurance policies generally involve some complications that are best explained by insurance experts.

Alimony issues- Last but the most important issue is that of alimony. This is the fee that a spouse who initiates the divorce pays to other for his/her maintenance. Alimony is only aid after sufficient evidence is given on paper regarding divorce or separation. It ceases with the death of the paying spouse and is tax deductible for the paying spouse, though taxable for the receiving spouse. Alimony involves a lot of complications especially if the receiving spouse were a dependant. The spouse initiating the divorce should pay the amount to give the same standard of living to his spouse as he/she had when in marriage. Alimony being a major issue is best discussed with legal experts.

As you can see divorce involves a lot of expenditures and legal procedures. Apart from monetary settlements, your expenses in divorce might have to face some charges for allegations made on you, especially if you’ve had a quarrelsome relationship with your spouse. This again might be a big hassle which might involve your visiting courts endlessly. Sometimes criminal charges also placed on some spouses. Are you really prepared for all this?

Most people take divorce because of some extramarital affairs or because of mindsets that don’t gel. What guarantee is there that with your new spouse your mindset will gel? A lot of second time marriages have also failed. You should always try to settle matters amicably. There are instances where reconciliatory efforts have worked wonders. Do you realize that your partner might have made a big emotional investment in you and might not be able to take in the trauma of separation? If not for your spouse, you can think of your children- why do they need to suffer the tragedy of broken homes? Don’t be so selfish and think about your own self only. Of course, I do agree that if you are the one who’s tortured, you should go for divorce, but only after sufficient attempts at reconciliation. You might think that divorce gives you the freedom to live life the way you want to. This is not true. Every human being on this earth is not completely free. You’ve got to compromise somewhere or the other in life.

“A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less for you” – Margaret Atwood

About: Claude Ford

American economist. Nobel Laureate in Economics in 2017 for his contribution to the field of behavioral economics. Honorary Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the School of Business of the University of Chicago.


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