When clients call for information on divorce services, topping their list of questions, “How much will this cost?” They know divorce is expensive. But why?
Callers might as well ask, Why do surgeons charge so much to separate conjoined twins?
When people marry, they commit to taking care of each other forever. No turning back. No exceptions. This commitment changes everything. The two people become one entity legally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and physically. Their life decisions are based on the commitment that we are in this together forever. As a result:
- One person gives up or compromises a career for the geographical moves that advance the other’s career.
- One person depends on the other’s ongoing financial provision to keep home life going and nurture children.
- Both make compromises in investing finances in homes, economic opportunities, or retirement plans.
Untangling years of mutual decisions into separate legal estates takes time and expertise. Most couples simply don’t know:
- all the issues at stake,
- the options for resolving these issues, or
- the pros and cons of each option.
Unrepresented couples and cheap attorneys can blindly design a divorce that costs little now, but can easily lead to years of court battles and financial turmoil for the future.
Expert advice at the beginning of the process helps couples make strategic decisions. In the midst of regulations governing finances, court rules governing parenting plans and custody, and requirements of creditors experts empower couples with knowledge. Couples use this to design their best future given present circumstances.
The experts needed include:
Penalties for early withdrawal from retirement plans, tax implications for financial obligations, and long-term outcomes of investment decisions–all these are at stake in divorce. Couples need the insights of an accountant to ensure they guard their financial estate and make the best decisions for future security.
Attorneys guide clients to untangle their intertwined lives into separate lives. They:
- Help clients work together to define priorities and future desires–even in the midst of lost trust and inability to communicate,
- Devise financial plans to create stability for both households,
- Weave parenting plans that protect the relationship of both parents with the children,
- Help clients process through the best use of assets for future financial needs,
- Help clients assess and apportion the personal property acquired during the marriage in the fairest way, and
- Create plans for paying off marital debt
In short, attorneys usher often highly conflicted couples through all elements of divorce including–financial, parenting, and future commitments. Guiding couples through this range of issues in a way that honors both parties’ highest priorities takes skill and time. So does composing an agreement that accurately reflects the nuances of their decisions and that will stand up in court.
Untangling couples often includes redefining the larger family into two separate households. Couples with children should consult child and family advocates, guardians-ad-litem, parenting coordinators, or others to gain insight into the developmental stages of their children and the key points of stress for each child. This information helps parents design parenting plans truly in the best interests of their children.
Surgeons separating conjoined twins must possess the expertise to separate shared blood vessels, organs, and other body systems into two separate and functioning individuals. Divorce experts offer analogous service to their clients in the legal, financial, and practical realms of life. That’s why it’s costs so much. The investment helps preserve each person’s livelihood and future.
If you are considering divorce, we at The Resolution Center are available to serve you. Please call or email with your questions and to discern if we can help you.