Nearly anyone facing a Divorce considers the financial implications of such a move. For example, “how much will the Divorce cost”, “how much property will I lose” are common questions future divorcees ask. Therefore, it’s understandable that advertisements claiming you can be divorced for as little as $400.00, or even $150, are appealing. Sometimes, even the Courthouse will offer do-it-yourself Divorce documents that are easily understandable to the average layperson.
However, although these types of divorces may be cheap, they can cost you in the long run if you’re not careful. As an example, before rushing into the ‘Do-It-Yourself Divorce’, make sure you ask yourself these questions:
- MARITAL PROPERTY: Do you know what the definition of marital property is? Do you have marital assets that need to be distributed? If there’s money or property at stake, you may want to seek advice from a qualified professional. You need to know and understand tax and other economic implications of neglecting to adequately cover these issues in your divorce. If you fail to take into account marital property before your Divorce is finalized, you may end up losing important assets.
- Additionally, don’t forget about marital debt. For example, just because credit card debt is in only one spouse’s name doesn’t mean it’s not marital debt. Be careful and make sure you get a fair settlement on all marital debt.
- CHILDREN: Are you attempting to resolve custody issues in your Divorce action? Make sure you anticipate things such as holidays, birthdays, vacations, summers, and other holidays that are important to you. If you do not cover these issues and a disagreement arises between you and your child’s other parent, this can be difficult, and costly, to correct.
- NEGOTIATION: Is your future ex-spouse a manipulative, abusive, or unfair person? If so, you may get the short end of the stick if you decide to ‘go it alone’ and do your own divorce. Once you give up rights, you could lose significant assets, and potentially custodial rights to your children, once you are divorced.
Although the above questions are important, they are not exhaustive of the legal issues divorcing spouses face. Make sure you take into account all of your issues when you are going through a Divorce.
This article is not intended to provide legal advice for any specific legal problem.