How to Cope with Divorce Costs and Start Moving Forward One Step at a Time

filling out legal paperworkDivorces can happen for a number of reasons, but it seems even the “Long Island Medium” couldn’t see this one coming: after 28-year-long marriage with her husband, Larry Caputo, Theresa plans to move ahead with their divorce.

Divorce is a long and often arduous process. Even after living on opposite ends of the United States, the “Long Island Medium” couple couldn’t reconcile their differences. Their divorce is moving forward after nine months of limbo.

Many divorces, however, can take even longer. Along with the emotional stress of the break-up, factors like children, retirement, and homeownership, can make divorce seem overwhelming. But it is possible to recover both emotionally and financially following your divorce, even though it doesn’t seem like it right now.

Costs today

Divorce can have unexpected financial repercussions. Between the costs of moving, retirement, and paying attorney fees, the whole process is a hurricane of stress. This is an unwelcome burden during a period of your life where you already feel bitter or unhappy.

Divorce is known to cost a pretty penny; the process is long and requires the help of legal attorneys, neither of which come cheaply. Moving home can also take a toll on your monthly funds. Altogether, a divorce in the U.S. can cost the couple between $15,000 and $42,500 when it’s all said and done. Depending on prenuptial agreements, the reasoning behind the divorce, and how amicable the proceedings are that follow, this leaves a huge margin of error for managing your financial and emotional well-being.

How to Move Forward

Step One
The first step to recovering from your divorce is distancing yourself from your spouse. This can be difficult if children are in the mix, but the importance of moving cannot be understated. A spouse that stays in the home following a divorce will be haunted by memories, both good and bad. In order to start moving forward, purchasing a new home or moving into an apartment is often a necessary first step.

If you’re getting divorced after 2016, the housing market has shifted since your initial marriage, even five years ago. Buying a new home will cost the average American $372.5 thousand. Keep this fact in mind when you’re considering moving after your divorce. While this seems like a steep price, you have to remember you’ll likely be selling your home as well. The money you’ll get following the sale will help put you on the right path to getting your finances in order, while you get the emotional stability of being away from your ex. Keep in mind that these costs are likely to be split between the two of you, however. While modern houses have improved their natural gas efficiency by 40% compared to 40 years ago, this isn’t going to be enough to boost your home’s value compared to other homes on the market.

Step Two
The second step usually involves managing your financial situation. Now that you have distance between you and your ex, you can focus on navigating a new world of financial responsibility, including paying for those often costly lawyer fees. Many couples also don’t consider the retirement repercussions of divorce; nearly 50% of households are at risk of not being able to sustain their standard of living following a divorce. Paired with alimony costs, many couples have to push their retirement age back.

Step Three
The third step is setting boundaries with your ex, especially if there are kids involved with the divorce. Barriers to communication are common, but establishing boundaries is essential to co-parenting a child caught in your crossfire.

Even though it can be hard, setting expectations for the parenting of your child is essential. The child, or children, should be raised with the same rules in each household; this way, they’re not getting tugged around with different expectations projected onto them. Talk to your kids and keep their best interests in mind when you navigate the difficult world of divorce.

Talking to a therapist, your lawyer, or even a close friend is a necessary addition to the divorce process. You need to have someone to talk to. Not even the “Long Island Medium” could see divorce coming; whether it was expected or not, having a support system is the best way to keep grounded and start moving forward.

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