Who pays for a divorce?
Marriage is supposed to be an equal partnership, a blending of two lives into a single unit. Because of this, property is shared and both members of the couple do not need to make equal incomes in order to enjoy a certain level of comfort or standard of living. A divorce complicates this.
When a couple divorces, the income that once sustained a single family must now be divided to support two households. If the income is divided unevenly between spouses, as it often is, one spouse may end up suffering financially after the divorce, a problem which may be corrected through the other spouse losing money.
The divorce proceedings themselves can be expensive as well. Attorneys and court fees can quickly add up, and couples who have drawn-out divorce proceedings may pay substantially more over the duration of the divorce than people who are more likely to agree in court.
Who Gets What in a Divorce?
A couple’s assets will either be divided equally or awarded equitably based on the individual’s financial situation. The method of dividing property depends on the state law. If the couple lives in an equitable division state, the property and assets will be divided along lines of fairness whether or not the exact figure is the same for each person.
This means that the higher-earning spouse may receive less from the divorce than the other person. This happens because the lower-earning individual must receive enough to maintain his or her standard of living in the months and years directly following the divorce.
In some situations, the lower-earning spouse may also receive alimony payments. Also known as spousal support payments, alimony is a monthly payment that the high-earning spouse pays to his ex. In most cases, the husband will pay the wife alimony, but there is no reason why a high-earning wife may not need to pay the man alimony payments under the correct conditions.
In this regard, it can seem that the person with a lower income will always come off better in a divorce, but it’s also important to remember that this is only to equalize the financial disparity. No one should be profiting from a divorce as much as maintaining a lifestyle that they already lead.
Who Pays Divorce Costs?
In addition to the property divided in the divorce, there are actual fees associated with the separation itself. As a rule, each individual will pay his or her own attorney and court fees. In some situations, the attorney may be able to argue that the other person should pay 100 percent of the court fees and other legal expenses.
This is more likely to occur in at-fault divorces, but it may apply in other situations as well.For example, if the couple must spend additional time in court due to one individual being particularly difficult or unresponsive, the additional court fees may be his responsibility to pay.
How to Keep Divorce Costs Reasonable
In situations where the divorce takes a long time due to custody battles or other issues, the fees may be substantially higher. In order to keep the costs down, people may want to avoid talking to their attorneys more than is absolutely necessary to conclude the case; every phone call can cause an additional charge.
On the other hand, consulting with the attorney can also prevent an individual from being taken advantage of or making unwise decisions that could cost him more money in the long run. Because of this, an individual must use discretion when deciding how to handle his attorney relationship.
The less time a couple must spend in court, the less the divorce will cost. Whatever the reason for the divorce, it pays for the couple to spend as much time discussing things outside of the court as possible. If a couple is able to come to an agreement about dividing assets prior to the divorce, they will be able to sever ties as cleanly and painlessly as possible. Not only will this save both people money, it will also prevent significant heartache and hassle.
Of course, it is not always possible to count on your spouse to discuss the divorce in a clear, levelheaded manner. In some cases, it’s not even possible to be in the same room together for more than a few minutes. In these situations, it pays to get a good divorce attorney. The best attorney is one who can quickly and efficiently work to ensure that the individual gets the best deal out of the divorce for the smallest amount of time and effort possible. By finding an affordable but experienced attorney, a person is able to keep the costs of the divorce reasonable even if he cannot deal with his ex.