There are a lot of difficult things about divorce. One of the hardest things, however, is simply managing your own expectations.
The longer you’ve spent in an unhappy marriage, the harder it may be to anticipate the financial realities of a divorce and the adjustments that you’ll need to make to your general lifestyle once it’s over. You may be looking back fondly on the days when you didn’t have to account for you spending to anyone else, while simultaneously forgetting that you probably didn’t really have that much spare money to spend!
There are financial realities of divorce that you need to anticipate.
1. Divorce itself is expensive.
It only costs $215 to file a divorce petition in Hawaii when there are no children involved. However, even a simple, uncontested divorce will usually run a couple thousand dollars in the end.
If your case starts getting ugly, costs will rise quickly. If there are allegations of domestic violence, expect a minimum cost of $5,000. Allegations of child abuse can end up costing ten times that amount. If you need an expert to evaluate financial statements or make other recommendations before the court, expect a $10,000 bill.
If divorce is a possibility in your future, start putting money away for the expenses and do whatever you can to minimize the conflict with your spouse. The only real way to save money on a divorce is to try to come to some agreements before you end up in court.
2. You’ll probably have to sell the house.
If you want to keep your home after the divorce, you have to buy out your spouse’s share of the equity. Unless you can agree on exactly how much that is, you probably won’t keep the home. The courts don’t like to delay a case while the issue is sorted out, so they’ll often order a house in dispute sold and the equity divided.
Even if you and your spouse agree on some figures, however, that doesn’t mean you can afford to keep the family home. The cost of living in Hawaii is high, which means it’s difficult to maintain the same standard of living you had when you were married after a divorce.
Making your peace with the financial issues you may face during and after divorce is the best way to mitigate your stress.