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Can I Afford to Divorce My Spouse?

Daniel Noffsinger - Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Individuals contemplating divorce often feel it is time to move on but are unable to do so because they may not be able to survive financially. Instead, these couples live separately but remain married, counting on the other party’s benevolence to protect and preserve marital assets. If the objection to the divorce is religion-based (i.e. your faith does not recognize a divorce) some couples feel this voluntary married-but-separated arrangement keeps them within the confines of their religion without addressing the elephant in the room. If money is a concern prior to filing for divorce, it will only grow if the parties separate without legal protections.

The following are seven reasons why you should consider a legal separation if for whatever reason you are ready to move on from your relationship but are not prepared to institute formal divorce proceedings.

  • Without a legal separation agreement, you have no control over how your spouse is handling marital assets. Particularly if the spouses are living apart – one of you is out of the financial loop entirely and the other spouse may be accumulating new debt that may or may not be classified as marital debt.
  • Long term separations, without a formal separation agreement, are a great way to hide assets. Through time assets get diverted without the knowledge of the other spouse and one spouse may come out of an eventual marital dissolution with even less money or assets than he or she started with.
  • Things happen. At any time, your spouse’s circumstances may change. He or she can lose a job or have an accident and become disabled, diminishing marital assets or creating an additional financial burden.
  • People change. Your spouse can move out of the state or country and may not even tell you. If your spouse is hiding to avoid responsibility, you will have to undergo the additional expense of locating him or her to get resolution of any meaningful financial settlement.
  • Maintenance laws or alimony laws are constantly changing. The spouse seeking financial assistance receives the benefit of the law in place at time of filing. As state laws change, less maintenance may be awarded to the non-money spouse. Filing a matrimonial action or separation agreement preserves your financial rights.
  • New love interest. Nothing makes a divorce move faster than a new love interest or a baby on the way. Particularly when children are involved, the first mother to seek child support, receives the full benefit of the other spouse’s income when determining child support. Any new mothers have a smaller pie to draw from. Whoever is first gets the best legal treatment in terms of child support
  • Lower standard of living. In the short term, until you can get on your feet financially, you may consider lowering your standard of living and taking the financial hit as soon as possible. The more prepared and informed you are the more likely you are to overcome any financial challenge and build from where you are today.
  • Insurance. Until legal proceedings are initiated, nothing prevents a spouse from cancelling your health, auto, or life insurance. Protections fall into place once a divorce or legal separation is filed that prevent any significant changes to your insurance policies, and orders can require a spouse to maintain long-term coverage.

Consult an Experienced Colorado Springs Divorce and Family Law Lawyer

If you are looking for ways to legally end a marriage or fix parenting rights following the break-up of a relationship by negotiating the various divorce and family law agreements get legal advice from an experienced Colorado Springs divorce and family law lawyer. Contact the Noffsinger Law firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.