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Are divorce costs trapping you in marriage?

January is dubbed divorce month. However, it seems that divorce rates are decreasing.

However, the sad reality is that many people are trapped in unhappy marriages.

Why?

Because they cannot afford divorce costs.

According to figures from Aviva in 2018, separation or divorce costs on average £14,500. This is legal and lifestyle costs.

This means you may not be able to separate from your partner. Many people may be trapped in their relationship for financial reasons.

While the cost of the divorce on its own is not crippling, ending your life together can be.

Legal fees to split assets in the marriage (home, pensions, maintenance claims) and the care of children can really add up.

On top of that, there are the cost of living two separate lives too.

Samantha Lee, head of Family Law at Swain & Co Solicitors comments,

“Ending a marriage is emotionally difficult. Sometimes the raw emotions can make negotiations difficult. Often this leads to lawyers becoming involved.”

“If this is the route needed, both you and your ex partner need to make sure that you use your legal team wisely. Don’t hold things back about finances and children. Use your time with legal help to get practical and move things forward.”

Due to the perception that involving lawyers is expensive, some people divorce and choose to sort out children matters and finances alone.

While family mediation is preferred in some situations, if you go it alone, there may be some hazards to be aware of.

One in particular is finances.

You could leave yourself open to future claims on things such as pensions and inheritance.

Samantha explains,

“By not having a clean break from your ex spouse, any future income including your pension, and any inheritance can be open to claims from your ex. Often, this only becomes apparent many years following the divorce.”

Our advice is to use a family mediator whenever possible to keep cost low and so you are fully aware of implications of mutual decisions. And, instruct solicitors when necessary to make agreements legally binding.

Family mediation costs less and generally takes less time to reach agreements. You and your ex remain in control of decisions rather than leaving it to a Judge to decide for you.

Couple this with lawyers only when needed for legal stuff, you will hopefully find divorce not only easier on costs, but less traumatic.

For free advice on your options, talk to us on 02392 483322 or pop us an email.

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