9 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Divorce

Unhappy young couple visiting divorce lawyer in office

America’s divorce rate is already about 50 percent, but what does that number look like during and after this pandemic? From quarantining together to monetary stresses, a lot of couple are struggling to survive the coronavirus with their partners. The trouble, many are saying, is that planning a divorce when you are together virtually every minute of the day is difficult. So, what does that mean once the pandemic is over? How will divorce rates be impacted when the coronavirus begins to disappear?

These are valid questions. The fact is that life is changing, fast, and navigating this can be quite challenging for many couples. While there is no data to back up an upcoming surge in divorces nationwide, a range of anecdotal evidence and surveys leads us to believe that many splits are coming. Unfortunately, many people who begin the divorce process have no idea what they are in for. In fact, many point out that while their split was amicable, there were still a ton of unforeseen issues, particularly as it relates to finances.

Whether or not the pandemic has jumpstarted thoughts of divorce in your relationship, being prepared is paramount. There are a lot of surprises that come along with a divorce. From rising costs in taxes and insurance to retirement plan adjustments, it is vital to remain vigilant and educated. The following are some of the most common things that people wish they knew prior to getting a divorce:

  1. Spousal support can be quite pricey
  2. Friends are not the people to turn to for legal advice, even if they are attorneys
  3. Federal income taxes will increase significantly
  4. It is extremely important for both parties to build their own credit history (this means each person should have things in their own name – like credit cards, bank accounts, and car loans)
  5. The real differences between working with a mediator versus working with a collaborative divorce attorney
  6. You may have to adjust or completely change your retirement plan
  7. The financial burden of no longer leaning on two incomes is be dramatic for most
  8. If the spousal agreement needs to be changed down the road, it can be pricey and time-consuming to go back to court
  9. Determining property values may require an independent valuation

Divorce rates are high under normal circumstances, but COVID-19 has undoubtedly shined a new light on marital issues that may have been easier to ignore in the past. Knowing that to expect, especially from a financial perspective, is extremely important to both parties involved in the marriage dissolution.

A divorce is challenging enough without added complications and surprises. As such, it is important to lean on experts where appropriate. At Ellrich, Neal, Smith & Stohlman, P.A., we are regularly retained in civil, criminal, and family law (divorce) matters, and often participate in the development of pleadings and in the discovery process. Contact our Miami or Palm Beach Gardens offices to learn more.