Financial concerns can lead to divorce, but they can also prevent people from filing when they probably should. When you don’t understand what divorce might mean for your finances, you may not feel comfortable with taking any permanent steps.
Learning a bit about the practical financial implications of divorce can help you make a better decision about when to file and how to handle your divorce proceedings.
Most divorces cost thousands of dollars
Florida has the 15th highest divorce costs in the country. Those with children spend an average of $20,300 on divorce, while those without children spend an average of $13,500.
Of course, if you cooperate with your spouse and file an uncontested divorce, the costs for legal representation in court time could be a fraction of those averages, which reflect litigated divorce expenses.
You have to share much of your property
The longer your marriage lasted, the more you may have to lose in the divorce proceedings. Some couples have marital agreements that designate certain property as separate and therefore not subject to division.
For those without such agreements in place, almost everything that they earned, received or acquired while married will be part of the marital estate. Gifts and inherited property will usually remain the separate property of one spouse, but most everything else is subject to division. You will either have to agree on how to split that marital property or allow a judge to divide your marital estate in an equitable or fair manner.
Support may last for years
If you have children with your spouse and earn more than they do, you may have to pay child support, especially if you have less parenting time with the children. In some cases, the courts may also award a dependent spouse alimony or spousal maintenance. Typically, alimony lasts for a fixed amount of time to help someone reach financial independence. However, there are rare cases in which such support may last indefinitely.
The combined impact of paying for divorce dividing your assets and meeting support obligations could be tens of thousands of dollars. Some people have to temporarily reduce their standard of living or adjust their retirement plans to absorb those costs. However, many people view such expenses as a reasonable price to pay for their own happiness and mental health.
Learning more about divorce in Florida can help you feel comfortable with the changes that will come with the end of your marriage.