A while ago a couple came to us for a free consultation. They had been living separate lives for five years- they lived in different homes, kept their paychecks in separate accounts, and even worked out a parenting plan for their kids. However – they were still legally married and owned a vacation home together. They stated that they “couldn’t afford to get divorced.”
Many couples that we’ve meet feel that it is simply “too expensive to divorce.” However, what people don’t realize is the important fact that it is sometimes “too expensive NOT to divorce.”
By not divorcing, you’re potentially giving your spouse a stake in any assets acquired during the time that you remain legally married. This can include retirement accounts, a professional degree, a business and any other property acquired during the marriage. EVEN IF YOU KEEP THAT PROPERTY IN YOUR OWN NAME ALONE.
We’ve seen people who were shocked when we told them that the pension they’ve been socking away for a rainy day is considered to be marital property and a rainy day pension for two.
On the flip side, most debt acquired during a marriage is considered marital debt. So yes, your spouse can be running up credit card bills, or take out a mortgage in his/her name alone, and you might pay the consequences.
One way to afford divorce is by mediating, which is a fraction of the price of a litigated divorce. So just by trying the mediation process, you are making the commitment to preserve family assets for the family — rather than wasting them on much higher legal fees.
Of course it is never an easy decision to divorce. However, if you have already been living separate lives,divorcing will give you a way Ray Ban outlet to untangle your financial lives. This way you can move forward with assurance that when you purchase your next house, or write a best selling novel, the profits are all yours!
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