If you are considering divorce but you are worried about how it's going to affect your wallet, you'll want to sit down with a lawyer. A family law professional that specializes in divorce can look at your finances, and determine how your divorce could go.
You'll want to bring all of your financial documents with you from the last few years, and you could potentially need tax returns from the duration of your marriage. Here are a few things you want to ask your lawyer about:
Will you have to pay alimony for the time that you were married? The law is different in each state, but you could end up having to pay a year of alimony, for every 3 years that you were married. If your spouse didn't work while the two of you were married, this could mean enough to support him or her. Ask what the potential costs for alimony would be, and if you would be able to offer a large lump sum instead.
Have the two of you accumulated some debt over the years you've been married, or are you still trying to pay off student loans or other bills. You want to know who is going to get stuck with the debt, and how much there is going to be. You also may want to talk with your lawyer about possibly taking the debt, and then not paying alimony.
The retirement accounts that the two of you have will have to be split. This means you could end up losing a lot of your retirement money, or almost all of it. You may even want to give your spouse more of the funds, to avoid paying alimony, or to pay off debts the two of you have accumulated together.
Your lawyer will look at your assets and help you determine what would most likely happen if you two could mediate, or if a judge got involved. If they couldn't possibly pay for the house or car, then you should be able to get them.
You want to know what you are getting into before you move forward with a divorce. You also may want to talk with your spouse about doing a collaborative divorce together through mediation, so the two of you can work things out more peacefully. Call a lawyer and get a consultation so you can learn more.
Have more questions? Try contacting a professional like The Law Offices of Paul F. Moore II to learn more.