We all know divorce is not uncommon in America
The most public splits over the past few years have involved celebrities like Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, and most recently Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner.
In 2021, there were nearly 700,000 divorces — both celebrity and not — across the 45 states that collect this data. During the same period approximately 20 lakh marriages took place.
But not everyone has the financial stability of a movie star. And divorces don’t come cheap.
According to attorney Elizabeth Douglas, founder and CEO of Douglas Family Law in New York, an uncontested divorce can cost on average between $1,500 and $5,500, while a contested divorce can cost you anywhere from $40,000 to $140,000. If the case goes to trial, the costs could be even higher, Douglas said.
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“The more complex it is, the more hours are required: hours by lawyers, hours by appraisers, business appraisers, crypto hunters, forensics, forensic accountants, forensic psychologists, whatever,” he added.
A lot of changes come with divorce in life – Important ones.
This usually means one house turns into two, and the same applies to rent or mortgage as well as electricity, cable, internet, grocery bills and cars. This also includes the cost of relocation, buying new furniture, installing various utilities accounts, doing your taxes independently, separating your health insurance and possibly selling the shared home or homes. And this is just the beginning.
This major life change may result in lost time at work, the need for therapy and, if children are involved, the need for more child care. As for the children, there may also be custody to find out.
John Norman worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years and retired in 2019 when he separated from his ex-wife. He lived in Ithaca, New York.
Norman said, “We went through a completely unnecessary custody battle; I had to hire an expert witness.” “I lived without my children for a year.”
Norman estimates that the value of this life event was between $172,799 and $191,000. She still owes $120,929 and $39,747 of that is credit card debt.
Meanwhile, money was not an issue for him and his family before the divorce. “We had extra money,” he said. “We bought a boat for the kids…then the custody battle happened and it drained all my accounts.”
While it may not be easy to prevent divorce, it is certainly much easier to prevent divorce from becoming costly and placing a significant financial burden on your family.
A prenup is an option – Douglas even believes they are romantic. He said, “You have to protect someone by loving them before you can hate them.” “And you get a chance to split and save money for both of you right from the start.”
Norman said, “The best advice I can give anyone is that when you love each other you can never negotiate a divorce more favorable to both parties.”
The reality is that breaking up and getting divorced can be scary, but you don’t have to stay married to someone just because you don’t have the money to get a separation. Everyone has options, and there are people, organizations, and resources that can help.
Watch Video Read on to learn how you can prevent a costly divorce.