The Sad Reality: Sometimes Divorce Is the Only Choice
No one will want to tell you this when you marry, but sometimes things do not work out and divorce is the best option. It is a harsh reality, but it is true in many cases.
Consider the case of a young couple who marry in their 20s. They are just starting out in life and they are optimistic that they will achieve everything they’ve planned. They both want children, to live in a nice house, and have a comfortable, if not affluent, lifestyle. They are confident it can all happen.
Then reality sets in.
Raising kids is a hassle and expensive; jobs come and go, sometimes through no fault of your own; your partner gets on your nerves and you need time apart. Small problems that go unresolved become bigger. You go to therapy and arrange date nights, but the problems continue.
Slightly more than half of marriages (53 percent) end in divorce within 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Consider that the CDC also reports that 22 percent of couples get divorced by the time they are five years in, and that spells a lot of couples considering divorce very soon after they get married.
The good news is there is life after divorce, and you may become a better person for it in the long run.
If the Marriage Can’t be Saved?
Consider the cost of a divorce averages around $15,000 including legal fees and court costs. Because of that, one might consider alternatives to save the marriage.
If you and your spouse agree on major issues, you can save money and leave less up to chance that a judge will not rule in your favor.
An uncontested divorce filing can cost significantly less, but it requires you both to agree on the following:
- Bank account
- Alimony or spousal support
- Child custody
- Child support and visitation
We often find it is very difficult for couples who can’t get along to find agreement on all of the above. So, there are alternatives for a divorcing couple to consider:
Mediation – Using a neutral third party, a mediator is an alternative to have you and your spouse reach agreement on major issues. This individual could be a retired judge or professional mediator, but they will be a more cost-effective option for you both.
A Collaborative Divorce – In this option, both parties retain lawyers and all of you meet to work out those items the couple cannot agree on. The attorneys will need to be compensated but the cost of a trial will be saved.
Trial – If the couple cannot agree, a hearing or trial will be the costliest option. You may have to retain not only the lawyer, but expert witnesses. Even then, there is no guarantee you will get everything you ask for.
Your Florida Divorce Attorney
Crystal Collins Spencer has decades of experience helping divorcing couples go through one of the most difficult times in their life.
Florida is not a community property state but considers marital property to be divided under the law of “Equitable Distribution.” This might mean that the high earner does not hold all of the cards.
If your contribution to the marriage did not take place in the workplace, but in the home, a monetary value can be placed on that contribution.
If the marital home is important to you, that might be part of a final dissolution, or selling the family home might allow you to afford a less costly alternative.
The continued care of the children including custody, visitation, vacation planning, medical decisions will all have to be reached. If the child has special needs, who will make the final decision on his care and the cost?
Crystal Collins Spencer has been an advocate for children and families during her career in family law. She will help you reach agreement on a child custody plan and ultimately on a legal course of action that works for you and your child.
Additionally, if there is a prenuptial agreement, she will help you sort through the advantages or disadvantages it imparts. And she can dig into previously undisclosed assets to put you in the best position.
Crystal Collins Spencer is an experienced advocate for families in Florida divorce cases. Please call the Spencer Law Group at her Pensacola, Florida office to schedule a consultation at (850) 795-4910, in order to explore your options.