So, you have decided that it is time to move on? Yet, you are somehow involved with your soon-to-be Ex in ways that you wish you weren't. Either you jointly own a business, own real property, and are in a great deal of debt. You've just had your first initial divorce consultation with a potential lawyer, and they want you to give them $10,000.00 for an initial retainer. They tell you that your upcoming divorce will be "complicated" (what divorce isn't?) and that distributing the vast amounts of property and debt between you and your spouse will be a lot more difficult than just listing the marital home for sale. To make matters worse, the economy has tanked, and all those real property assets you own, are worth two-thirds their value 3 years ago. You ask yourself: Is this the right time to divorce or should I just stay-put and stick it out until the economy gets better?
If you are asset rich and cash poor, you are not alone. It has been widely reported that couples stay together due to tight finances. The reality of having to split already reduced incomes (due to layoffs) and try to sell real properties with reduced equities in a tight real estate market make it almost impossible for many to start the divorce process. You might be wondering how to continue to afford the house you are staying in or continue to run an ongoing family business during the divorce process and afterward.
You are probably asking yourself: will I ever be able to get through divorce?
The answer is: not easily, but it is definitely doable.
For those who cannot and do not have the option to remain in their relationships, divorce may be your only option. Your home environment may suffer from intense domestic abuse, violence, or a downright miserable relationship. Sometimes, the cost of the divorce, and the loss of assets is necessary, because you cannot afford to lose your sanity. If you are suffering in a relationship, your mental ability, stability and happiness will continue to suffer. Staying put may be a "smart" financial plan for those with ten to fifteen year plans, but it's not a realistic short term plan. Remaining in an unhealthy relationship will only drag on your mental health and well-being. You may be or probably are severely depressed and your confidence in yourself is shaken. Remaining in a situation that is negative, to preserve assets with severely reduced equities, may be impossible if you intend to keep your sanity.
The good news is that divorcing with assets and debt in this economy is feasible and entirely possible. You will need to meet with your lawyer to discuss a divorce plan, that will formulate and structure the dissolution of your marriage and the disposition of your assets. However, be warned that the divorce process will not be easy, cheap, and that you probably will not be able to maintain the marital standard of living after the divorce. Yet be rest assured that by commencing the divorce process, you are taking the first step towards self realization and the positive redirection of your life path towards happiness and a brighter day.
The intent of this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice. Each individual case is different and the outcome of your case depends upon its circumstances. Contact the author, Rachel S. Cotrino, Esquire, at 732-987-9966 for a free initial consultation to discuss your divorce matter.