Divorce is rarely a pleasant issue. Besides the mental and emotional duress often experienced by both parties, there’s the financial aspect to think about. Everyone knows that getting a divorce isn’t free, but few realize that there costs that go beyond the actual service. Here are five hidden costs of dealing with a divorce.
1. Too Good to be True
If you choose a divorce lawyer solely because they advertised rock-bottom prices, you may find yourself disappointed as well as nickel-and-dimed. The catch is that many lawyers advertising super low prices require you to meet certain criteria to get that price. In most cases, you won’t get their advertised rate unless you haven’t been married long, or if your divorce is mutually wanted and agreed upon.
2. Selling the House
If you own a home jointly and it holds a lot of value, you can expect to have to sell it to satisfy the terms of your divorce. Unfortunately, this costs money, too. Between the realtor’s fees, commissions and closing costs, you’ll be out several grand when it’s said and done.
3. No More Tax Breaks
Naturally, the US government encourages married couples to stay together. According to divorce attorneys, it is this reason couples who file their income taxes jointly enjoy larger income thresholds and deductions than those who aren’t married. When you get divorced, you lose all of these nice kickbacks. Fortunately, you can soften the blow by waiting until tax time is over to file for divorce.
4. Increased Costs of Living
If you’re married, you probably share the costs of housing, food, bills and other living expenses. It’s much easier to afford such necessities when you’re splitting the cost with someone else. After you’re divorced, however, all of these things rest solely on you. For many newly-divorced people, being forced to shoulder this financial burden alone can be a great strain.
5. Loss of Social Security Payments
Under certain circumstances, the Social Security Administration feels that your ex should be entitled to a portion of your benefits. However, certain criteria must be met:
- You must have been married for at least ten years
- Your ex has yet to re-marry
- Your ex is at least 62 years old
Of course, other criteria and restrictions may apply to this rule. Sadly, if your ex meets them all, you could lose a devastating amount of your income, forcing you to endure financial hardship.
With all of the emotional drama surrounding a divorce, many people don’t consider the other financial impacts it can have. Therefore, it’s important to choose an attorney that can adequately inform you of these bumps in the road and represent you in a competent and compassionate manner.
“Hayley is a freelance blogger. Going through divorce? Visit Mullins divorce attorneys.”