Everyone knows that divorce cases can be costly in terms of time, effort, and of course, emotion. In fact, the highest cost of a divorce is often the toll of the proceeding on the people involved, particularly children. However, it is important to keep in mind that the financial aspects of a divorce can also be quite significant. That is why if you are contemplating a divorce, it is important to understand all of the costs involved, the main ones of which are provided below:
The cost of a divorce. Divorce expenses vary widely and depend on whether the issues raised during the divorce case are contested or not. For instance, when two parties cannot come to an agreement regarding the most important aspects of a divorce such as child custody, child support and alimony, the resulting legal fees can skyrocket. Conversely, there are some couples who are able to avoid expensive legal fees due to the fact that they entered their case with a mutual understanding of what they wanted and were willing to negotiate with one another. With this in mind, we nonetheless recommend that you hire an attorney from the onset of your divorce case yet, at the same time, consider the ways in which you can reduce your legal costs throughout the pendency of your case.
“Equitably” dividing assets. In Florida, marital property is divided in accordance with the law of equitable distribution. This means that property is divided in a fair and just (not necessary equal) manner between the parties and any separate property remains in the hands of the person who brought it to the marriage. Sometimes, people can end up spending quite a bit of money in legal fees to fight over certain marital property of which they feel entitled to take. This often includes the more highly valued assets to marriage, such as jewelry, vehicles, investment accounts, and real estate.
Dividing debt. Along with the division of assets is the division of debt among the divorcing parties. Otherwise stated, determining who gets stuck paying what is often a contested issue in divorce cases. Also, there are people who, to spite their spouse, will rack up credit cards knowing they will likely not be responsible for paying the bill after the divorce is finalized. These are certainly issues to consider if you are seeking a divorce and have quite a bit of debt between you and your spouse.
Child support. After a divorce case is complete, there is usually one party that ends up paying child support to the other spouse. Depending upon how many children there are to a marriage and the nature of their respective needs (i.e., medical care, educational expenses, daycare), child support can end up being rather expensive.
Alimony. If you supported a spouse while he or she stayed home with the children, you may end up being on the hook for alimony. While alimony comes in different forms in Florida, generally it refers to a court-ordered amount of money awarded to a spouse in order to support his or her needs post-divorce. Depending upon the standard of living of which the recipient spouse was used to during the marriage and various other factors, alimony can be quite expensive and depending upon the circumstances, could be permanent.
Tax implications. There are numerous tax implications associated with a divorce, including capital gains and other serious issues. For example, a spouse who ends up with certain property during the equitable division of property phase during their divorce may choose to sell it just to afford the required taxes.
Start-up costs. While a divorce is underway and certainly after it is finalized, both parties must go their separate ways and start their lives anew. This could mean having to purchase a new home, rent an apartment, buy a new car, move to another town, start a new job, and return back to school, to name a few.
If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, contact the Law Offices of James S. Cunha, P.A. at 561-429-3924 to schedule a consultation. We have successfully handled thousands of family law proceedings located throughout the West Palm Beach, Boca Rotan, Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County areas.