Divorces are a messy thing. Sometimes, they can be a positive experience – an end to a toxic relationship and thus signifying freedom. Sometimes they can be horribly sad and difficult. Even the best-case scenario divorce is going to take its toll – emotionally, but also financially.
This is the most immediate way to have your funds drained when going through a divorce. Any divorce, even the most (relatively) painless, is going to require the proper legal steps to finalize it. A marriage, after all, changes the legal state of you and your partner, as an entity – in terms of taxes and employment and many other things. You will likely need a divorce attorney to navigate the unraveling of all those legal threads, not to mention to mediate the dividing of property in the aftermath.
The question of ownership of property becomes complicated when a married couple has made large purchases together – for example, with a house. If such is the case, you have a few options. You can sell the house and split the income fifty-fifty. Or one of the individuals can buy out the other, for however much their half of the property is worth. The details and logistical questions would ideally be handled by the divorce lawyer. The sale of the house itself of course can be handled many different ways (get input from the lawyer on the recommended method), but generally, selling your home to a cash buyer is the fastest route during a divorce.
The messiness of a divorce will be different for everybody, and thus, will include different costs for everybody. There are many other small and painful ways in which a divorce can drain you financially. Having children, especially, can be difficult to navigate. You may have to pay for child support if you do not plan on being involved in their life. If you do continue with custody, shared or not, you definitely will want to at least consider therapy for you or your children. Beyond simply your property, you will want to be aware of other assets (cars, sentimental items, pets, etc.) that may introduce complications as well.
Whether pondering divorce or having already committed, the fact of the matter is that it isn’t a nice process. But if it truly is the best option for you – you can do it! As hard as it can be, being aware of the financial travails is the first step. You can and you will keep going.
Check out this article on financial hardships that can impact lower-income families!