Considering Divorce Facts and Tips
Separating feelings and emotions from thoughts and reasons makes considering divorce agonizing. Affection may have diminished, or a spouse may feel powerless over a problem in the marriage and due to this, emotional closeness subsides. If there are still feelings of love and affection, its wise to work on the relationship before deciding on divorce. One of the saddest situations in divorce happens when one spouse starts it and then realizes his or her mistake.
Don't Use Divorce as a Threat
No spouse should ever use the threat of divorce as a way of manipulating the other partner. Allowing the word to enter the conversation takes the marriage to a new and dangerous place. It should never be done frivolously.
Two Divorces in One
All public divorces follow private divorces. The private divorces are the emotional divorces where one spouse starts to detach himself or herself from the other.
Often, people in difficult marriages think about divorce as a way out because they think their marriages should be perfect and they have unrealistic expectations. People may find happiness after a divorce, but divorce seldom makes people happy. Marriage isn't a centerpiece of someone's life, it's a part of someone's life, and when things go wrong, it's easy to blame the marriage because that's the thing that is most prominent.
The Leaver and the Left
In most divorces, one spouse wants out and the other does not the leaver and the left. Negotiations between two spouses generally go better when both are on the same page about ending the marriage.
Montana lawmakers are considering a measure that would prohibit couples with minor children from filing for divorce unless they've undergone at least 10 hours of marriage counseling in the prior 12 months. The prohibition against divorce does not apply when either party makes a claim of physical abuse.
Ten Top Reasons for Divorce
Here are the 10 top reasons for divorce (in reverse order): 10) Boredom, 9) Careers, 8) Infertility, 7) Loss of Interest, 6) Abuse. 5) Lack of Communication, 4) Addictions. 3) Social Networks, 2) Cheating, 1) Money Problems.
For Those Considering Divorce
People who divorce generally make the decision over time, but one of the most important points in this journey is certainty. Some spouses experience an epiphany: a single incident that convinces them the marriage is over. The decision to divorce is always very difficult and terribly dislocating. It is wise to consider the marriage as a whole against any one single mistake.
Divorce and Boredom
According to one divorce lawyer, many bored people want something exciting so they decide to hire an amateur therapist. An amateur therapist is another man or other woman to have an affair with. That person is going to make them feel temporarily better, but affairs are a bad remedy for boredom because they return no good information about what's really wrong in the marriage. Affairs just shift attention and distract a person from working on the marriage.
An Objective Third Party
A person considering divorce should talk to an objective third party. Not parents or siblings because they're not going to be objective, but a professional, like a psychotherapist, family doctor or your clergy person: anybody who's going to have an objective, non-biased view and really listen.
An Excellent Reason for Divorce
One of the best reasons to end a marriage is domestic violence and high conflict. No one should be a victim in marriage.
Staying Married for the Sake of the Kids
Many people stay married for the sake of the kids. In high conflict marriages, children don't thrive in an atmosphere of tension and anger. Children who grow up in homes where there's high conflict, or grow up in homes where they don't see affection and warmth and love choose partners in a similar way. They sometimes follow in their parents footsteps of misery.
Both Spouses Pay for Divorce
Both spouses normally pay their own legal and court costs upfront, but a judge may order one spouse to pay the legal costs of the other spouse. For example, when the husband of a stay-at-home mom files for divorce, the court may order him to pay her legal costs because he is in a better position financially and would suffer less financially if he paid all or a portion of the costs related to the divorce.
Adversarial vs. Collaborative Divorces
The more the spouses can agree upon the terms and conditions of the division of the marital estate, spousal and child support and visitation the less work there is for the lawyers to do and the less expensive the divorce will be. Lawyers bill by the hour, and when spouses fight the hours accumulate fast.
Divorce is a Big Business
According to Maritalstatus.com, a web site geared to divorce and remarriage, divorce is a $28-billion a year industry with the average cost of a divorce at about $20,000. Divorce attorneys charge hourly rates of $75 to $400, depending on the type of work done, or flat fees varying from about $200 for filing a motion to $10,000-$25,000 for handling all aspects of a divorce. If paying an hourly rate, the total can be $20,000 to $50,000 or more in complicated, highly emotional cases.
Don't Forget the Fees
Court filing fees of $75-$350 or arbitration fees of $200-$400 an hour, vary by county and state, and are not included in an attorney's charges.
Lifestyle Costs of Divorce
The fully allocated costs of a divorce can be eye popping because it encompasses much more than just paying off the lawyer's fees and court bills. The fully allocated cost includes the drastic reduction of income since the partners are no longer helping each other financially. For some, that can be a challenge.
Controlling Conflict Controls Cost
High conflict means that the spouses do not trust each other. That means they will have trouble negotiating efficiently. And that means a judge may end up resolving what they cannot resolve together. And all the time, the meter runs.
Five Factors of the Cost of Divorce
The cost of a divorce depends on 1) where it happens, 2) the amount of conflict, 3) how the couple divorces, 4) how complex the affairs are, and 5) the couples self control.
Four Ways to Get a Divorce
There are four basic ways to divorce. From least to most expensive, they are 1) no lawyer (pro se), 2) uncontested, 3) mediated and 4) adversarial. A no-lawyer, pro se divorce can be had for a few hundred dollars; an adversarial divorce can cost thousands and thousands.
Location Counts When Filing for Divorce
The county where the divorce happens may have a significant influence over the cost of divorce. All other things being equal, divorce in urban places such as New York City costs more, for example, than a divorce in rural Georgia. Filing fees and court costs vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and are subject to change.
Complexity of the Divorce Case Contributes to Cost
The complexity of the case contributes to the cost of a divorce. A divorcing couple with significant assets and/or debts may require appraisers, forensic accountants and other experts to help value businesses and land. Couples fighting over the custody of their children need psychologists to support their version of a custodial arrangement serving the best interests of the children. If marital misconduct stands at issue, the parties may turn to forensic computer experts and private investigators. Fees paid to third-party support personnel significantly increase the cost. Expert witnesses such as psychologists, psychiatrists and forensic accountants can charge as much as, or more than, some lawyers. If an attorney finds it necessary to take depositions of the opposing party or witnesses, the client can expect to pay for the court reporter, who charges on an hourly basis. A certified transcript of a court action can cost hundreds of dollars. The attorney's time in interviewing and preparing expert witnesses, poring over documentary evidence, and preparing for and then conducting lengthy trials, drives up the cost of divorce.
Individual Lawyers and Firms
Even within a geographic area, considerable variation exists among attorneys practicing family law. Clients can expect to pay more for lawyers experienced in domestic relations cases, especially those who practice with large firms. On the other end of the spectrum stand solo practitioners fresh out of law school, whose practice may include several other areas of law.
Behavior of the Spouses Contributes to the Cost of Divorce
The single most important determinant of cost in divorce is the behavior of the divorcing spouses. Spouses who make war on each other, spouses who want revenge have trouble behaving in a rational manner, and such actions invite costly mistakes.
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