There is no way to sugarcoat it... a contested divorce can be expensive.
Many families choose to remain in toxic marriages because they don't have the money to get divorced. It's not good. That's when the incidents of domestic violence tends to increase.
Remember when you got married? Did you have a big party at one of those banquet halls? Remember picking out the cocktail hour menu? "I'll take the roast beef carving station, sushi station, mashed potato bar and the block of ice cut in a design that nobody remembers now anyway?
Remember that? It wasn't cheap, right? Except, odds are you didn't have to pay for all of it, or any of it. If you did, good for you!
Unlike many weddings, the bill for your divorce is all on you, or the both of you. Except it costs just as much if not more than a wedding. And, it's not as much fun.
Yes, divorce is expensive, but don't let that stop you from living the life you were meant to live. People always say life is short, but life is really long if you're in a toxic marriage, or unhappy in general.
You have to be your best advocate in life. Nobody, not even your lawyer, is going to look out for your best interests like you can. That's because nobody knows you better than you.
Here are 7 reasons why you can't afford to wait and you should get divorced now:
1. You know there is no chance of reconciliation. Nobody knows your situation better than you. I always encourage couples to go to therapy and work on their marriage. But, sometimes it doesn't work. Maybe you tried, maybe you didn't. You know if there is a chance the marriage can be saved. If it can't, don't waste anymore time and start the process of moving on.
2. Each year you wait could mean a costlier divorce for you. Let's say you are the financial provider for the family. Each year you wait to file for divorce could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. You have to check what the alimony laws are in your state, but as an example, in New Jersey, a spouse may pay more in alimony for a 15 year marriage than a 10.
3. You find that your physical health is suffering. I'm not a doctor, but I have heard it over and over...stress is not good for your health. I know when I'm stressed, I'm not at my best physical form. If you find that you too are suffering physical ailments, it's time to consider what's causing them and how to make it better. You may be thinking that you can wait another year, but what if your body can't?
4. You are depressed. Be honest with yourself. Are you depressed? And if the answer is yes, do you know what the root cause is? If you don't (and most people don't have the introspective ability to figure this out) I encourage you to get some professional help. I always tell clients going through a divorce that they should be in therapy. You need an objective outlet to talk about everything and your lawyer, if you have one, is not that person.
5. You know the divorce would be amicable. Not all divorces have to be knock out, drag out battle royals. Some couples agree that it isn't working out and want to move on without spending all their resources on attorneys and court battles. In these situations, a divorce can happen both quickly and cheaply. Remember, fighting=$$$ in a divorce. The more everyone agrees on who gets what, the quicker you two can move on.
6. There is no marital home to divide. Do you own a home with your spouse? If not, it may be the right time to get divorced. A marital residence is probably the most complicated asset to divide in a divorce. One spouse may want to stay in the house while the other wants to sell it and take the equity. If there is disagreement, this will prolong the process and add to the cost to resolve it. If you don't own a home during the marriage, getting divorced will be easier.
7. You are employed and have a steady income. I mentioned this at the beginning...divorce is expensive, especially if it's contested. Everything is harder if you're unemployed and don't have an income. If you are the financial provider, a court may impute an income to you if you are unemployed during the divorce. There are a lot of factors that a court considers when dealing with an unemployed spouse. You may want to consider waiting until you are employed before filing.
Jason Levoy, a/k/a The Divorce Resource Guy™, is an attorney who coaches people who can't afford an attorney how to represent themselves in their divorce with integrity and confidence. Check out his free divorce guide with negotiation tactics used by top divorce attorneys to settle divorces.