Divorce is a legal process that separates spouses from their marriage contract, legally disengaging them from the rights, privileges and responsibilities associated with it. It is an emotional journey as well, one that can be fraught with feelings of grief, anger, sadness and disappointment.
The legal aspects of divorce are complex and highly contested in many cases. The issues that couples need to address include how to divide assets and debts, custody and visitation and alimony/spousal support. Couples who are unable to agree on these major points can spend months or years going through settlement negotiations, mediation and possibly a trial before the court will decide for them.
While it is true that divorce can negatively impact financial stability, it also offers an opportunity to rebuild and create a more secure future. This can involve taking a realistic look at your finances, creating a budget and getting in control of your money habits. It can also mean investing more, saving for retirement and resetting lifestyle priorities. Another financial benefit of divorce is the elimination of the so-called “marriage penalty” that forces affluent married couples into higher tax brackets than they would otherwise be in if they filed taxes individually.
A good divorce lawyer will work with you to develop a strategy that best fits your unique circumstances. If you are concerned about the cost of hiring a divorce attorney, there may be programs available through your local bar association or county legal aid office to provide low-cost or free legal assistance for divorces. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many attorneys are working on a fee-for-service basis or through remote meetings such as Zoom and Skype to help their clients settle their divorces.