A new study by Avvo revealed that the cost of splitting up is the top concern among divorcing couples.
The poll asked 890 individuals and 447 attorneys to evaluate the top concerns of going through a divorce. Some of the survey findings were:
- 58 percent of respondents without children listed the cost of a divorce as their biggest concern.
- 53 percent of respondents with children said custody issues were their top concern, followed closely by cost.
- Other important issues included concerns over property division (42 percent), length of divorce (27 percent), and alimony obligations (22 percent).
- 65 percent of individuals who go through a divorce retain an attorney, while 35 percent represent themselves or use a Do-It-Yourself service.
Leigh McMillian, Avvo Inc.’s vice president of marketing, said he was surprised how significant a concern money issues were during a divorce, and that “it largely cuts across all income levels.”
Interestingly, a July study by the firm Slater & Gordon found that the cost of splitting up was one of the 10 reasons why couples chose to stay together.
Family Law Attorney Comments
Divorce can be very expensive because it can be an extremely litigious and lengthy process. A way for couples to reduce the cost of divorce is to attempt an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and try to settle the matter outside of court.
Also, the parties can engage in a FENE (Financial Early Neutral Evaluation) to help settle property, debt, and asset division as well as child support and spousal maintenance (alimony); a SENE (Social Early Neutral Evaluation) can help settle custody and parenting time issues, or couples can choose mediation.
Minnesota Courts also provide pro-se divorce forms on their website. Parties can use these forms in the divorce process and represent themselves. However, if parties decide to go this route, then they should be very careful about what they agree to. Sometimes parties do not understand the ramifications of custody or spousal maintenance agreements, and it can be a settlement that may cost thousands of dollars to modify, or, may never be able to be modified.
While parties may decide to put off a divorce because of the cost, they should be aware that in Minnesota, everything that is gained during the marriage, both assets and debts are considered marital and will be divided equitably in a divorce. If a party is facing financial issues because his or her spouse has spending problems, the longer that couple stays married, the larger the debt may be.
Related source: Huffington Post