Divorce can produce significant financial and emotional challenges for all parties involved. When a couple divorces, they must divide their assets and debts, which is complicated. This financial process is frustrating, and it can also be emotionally taxing. If children are part of the marriage, a divorce can become even more complicated and emotionally charged. Concerns over their well-being and custodial situation can add another layer of complexity, emotional strain, and difficulty to the divorce process. The ultimate emotional and financial cost of a divorce depends on how you tackle these challenges and how cooperative or contentious the process becomes. How each area is handled will largely determine how pricey and emotionally traumatic the divorce ends up being. Because divorce can have a huge financial and emotional impact on those involved, it’s important to prepare for the process as much as possible before filing.
The Cause of the Costly, Mentally Taxing Divorce
Divorcing couples who show amicability and cooperation tend to have a less costly, low-conflict, and overall shorter divorce than those in conflict due to unresolved disputes. The reasons why a divorce can be lengthy and expensive vary from case to case, but some general factors that often drive up the costs and emotional strain include deep-rooted conflicts, numerous unresolved disputes, and a lack of cooperation between parties. The legal fees associated with the divorce process alone can add up quickly, as well as credit inquiries required for court proceedings. When children are involved in a divorce, additional costs such as child support payments, medical expenses, and childcare must also be considered. Other financial burdens that may arise during a divorce include alimony payments or complicated asset division. All these factors can lead to an expensive divorce that takes more time to resolve.
Eight Common Emotional and Financial Divorce Challenges
Divorce can significantly impact your finances, from immediate expenses such as lawyer’s fees to long-term consequences like decreased retirement funds.
Here are eight ways a divorce can make your life and finances challenging:
- Legal Fees: When going through a divorce, you may be required to pay for various legal services, including court filing and attorney’s fees. The total cost of these services can add up quickly, especially since many of these services need to be paid in advance and out of personal resources instead of joint funds. In a contentious divorce, each party has its own legal team, meaning legal fees can add up quickly.
- Fear: Going through a divorce can be a time of significant uncertainty and fear. The uncertainty and fear of the unknown can make your life challenging. This can be especially true in cases where the couple has shared assets or children, and decisions need to be made regarding custody, child support, alimony, and property division. The individual may also fear being alone, financially unstable, or unable to find love again.
- Maintenance Payments: In some cases, one spouse may be required to make alimony or child support payments to the other spouse following a divorce. These payments are not optional and must be determined before the divorce becomes final. These payments can significantly reduce the amount of money available to you each month, potentially making it difficult to make ends meet.
- Depression: Divorce can bring up feelings of grief and loss, which can manifest in different ways, such as sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, and guilt. This can be especially difficult when a divorce is contested. When one partner did not want the divorce or if the couple has children, feelings of depression are not uncommon.
- Tax Consequences: Divorce often affects how taxes are calculated and which tax credits and deductions are available. It is important that you are aware of any changes to your tax status as soon as possible so that you don't miss out on potential tax benefits or end up owing more than expected at the end of the year.
- Division of Assets: One of the most significant financial impacts of a divorce involves dividing assets, such as property and investments between the two spouses. Depending on how assets were divided during the divorce proceedings, this could mean that you now have fewer assets than you had before the divorce, resulting in reduced wealth and retirement options.
- Self-esteem Issues: Divorce can also have an impact on one's self-esteem, as it can trigger feelings of rejection and failure. It’s common for those going through a divorce to question their self-worth and doubt their ability to form successful relationships in the future.
- Debt Allocation: Like assets, debts must also be divided between spouses during a divorce - meaning if one spouse has more debt than the other, they may end up assuming most (or all) of it during the proceedings - potentially leaving them with less money in their pocket at the end of it all.
There is no sugar-coating it — divorces can harm financial health and well-being if not handled properly and with care. Knowing how it could affect your finances ahead of time will allow you to prepare for any potential pitfalls along the way so that you’re in better shape when all is said and done!
What Can You Do to Protect Your Mental and Financial Health Going into a Divorce
Going through a divorce is an emotionally draining experience, but there are steps you can take to protect your mental and financial health. It's important to begin by creating a plan with specific goals that you can work towards. This will help you stay on track emotionally and financially during the process. Additionally, make sure to stay informed about the laws surrounding divorces so you have a better understanding of what to expect during the process. It's also beneficial to reach out to trusted family members or friends for emotional support if needed. Once you’ve created a plan, your priority becomes sticking to it. Create a support network for days when you feel emotionally spent and create an emergency fund with any reserve income you have available, so you’re prepared to absorb any unexpected expenses that arise while finalizing your divorce. An emergency fund can also ensure you are prepared financially for any financial challenges once your divorce is finalized and you’re on your own again.
If you’re struggling to create a plan, don't be afraid to seek out guidance from your divorce lawyer. Your attorney will have access to valuable resources and advice they’ve gained through years of experience working on similar cases. While going through a divorce is incredibly mentally and financially challenging, protecting yourself by establishing clear goals, staying informed on laws and regulations, relying on emotional support networks, prioritizing financial planning, and seeking guidance from legal professionals is possible.
Contact the Divorce Attorney at the Law Office of Alexandra White, PC
Going through a divorce can be an incredibly difficult and stressful process, both financially and emotionally. The cost of a divorce in the United States typically ranges from $15,000 to over $100,000 for more contentious divorces, depending on the parties' net worth. Additionally, it can significantly impact one's standard of living, with women over 50 seeing an average 45% drop compared to only 21% for men. So, if you or someone you know is considering divorce, it is important to protect your interests before moving forward by contacting an experienced divorce attorney. A lawyer can ensure your case progresses through the system smoothly. A divorce lawyer can also help you gather all the relevant documents, evaluate assets, liabilities, and income and expenses before filing. Contact the Law Office of Alexandra White, PC, today to get started working on your case. Call (303) 647-4245 today or contact our firm online.