Bruce C. Zivley, Attorney at Law

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Understanding the direct and indirect costs of divorce

Divorcing can be a stressful and frightening process. However, if you educate yourself about what you can expect from the process emotionally, physically, practically and financially, you will place yourself in a better position to navigate your divorce successfully. Educating yourself about the process may not make some elements of it easier, but knowing what to expect will help you prepare mentally for what is coming.

One aspect of the divorce process that you may be struggling with is what it will ultimately cost you. Expenses associated with divorce tend to be complex. First, there are legal fees and other practical process-related costs. Second, there are sometimes costs associated with property division matters, such as fees associated with listing your home for sale. Finally, there are costs associated with moving from a partner-driven household to a single one.

When preparing for the costs of divorce, make sure to examine all of these direct and indirect expenses. In addition, think long and hard about which expenses are worth your trouble. For example, if you and your spouse will be resolving your property disputes relatively amicably, you may be able to save some money on a collaborative divorce. However, if it is important that you litigate some critical contested matters like child custody, you may suffer in the long-term if you pinch pennies when it comes to legal counsel now.

Please, take some time to research what your divorce will likely cost you in the three major areas noted above. Then, think about where it makes sense to save and where it makes sense to spend right now. In all calculations, you should keep your future well-being in mind as opposed to making decisions based on heightened emotions that will likely calm over time.

Source: Bloomberg, “The Real Cost of a Divorce,” Carla Field, Nov. 18, 2013

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