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What To Know Before Getting A Divorce
10 Things to Do Before You Divorce Is your marriage in trouble? Are you ready to quit? Then this free resource is for you!
Why Can’t I Just Get Divorced? Understanding Legal Waiting Periods Before Divorce
When your marriage is experiencing difficulties and is on the verge of divorce, it is exhausting and all-encompassing. It affects your whole life. This can feel very detrimental. There are a million reasons that might make you feel like it’s time for a divorce.
Before you take a step towards divorce, would you consider making a last resort? Would you try these 10 things before making the decision to end your marriage?
This resource is a free 3-page digital download that gives you 10 action steps to take before you say, “I can’t do this anymore.”
You will receive this FREE PDF within minutes (up to 10 minutes to be exact) after submitting the form above. Wait for an email from drkim@.
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You will also receive a series of 9 emails over 2 months with additional FREE resources to help you during this difficult time. Additionally, there will be an Awesome Wedding Team Member to specifically wish you and your wedding well. I try to live my life without regrets. I generally don’t find it constructive to look back and consider how I could have done something differently unless it can teach me a lesson that might help me move forward. The only time I find reflection like this helpful is in situations where the lessons I learn from looking back could benefit someone else. And that’s exactly what I want to do with this post — pay it forward and share some of the things I wish I knew when I started my journey toward divorce.
Most of us don’t know much about divorce or how to go through the process because we never thought we would have to go through it. But once we are there, in a place we never imagined we would be, we can easily be overwhelmed by all the information that suddenly becomes relevant to us.
Therefore, here are some things I wish I had known before diving into the divorce process:
Frankly, it’s scary how quickly and easily you can get married in the US, considering the serious legal implications of such a marriage. In most states, the process is as easy as (1) going to the local clerk’s office, (2) applying for and receiving a marriage license (usually on the spot), and then (3) seeing someone with sufficient authority (even if appointed to while) marry you.
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You don’t need to say anything in particular as part of the wedding ceremony – just express your intention to get married. You may need a witness or two, but that is not required in every state.
If you want, and the line at the clerk’s office isn’t too long that day, you can probably get married in less than 10 minutes. To further support this, in Vegas, you can actually have a “drive-thru wedding” if you want. (And we really wonder why our divorce rate is so high??)
[You may be wondering why this is, and I’ll save my diatribe about the government’s role in all this for another post. But there are a few things to keep in mind: our government incentivizes marriage and doesn’t incentivize divorce, in part by creating laws that make it easier for couples to legally marry and very difficult to divorce. (See also: US tax regulations, which are typically used to provide incentives and disincentives to all kinds of different behavior.)]
(3) negotiation regarding the terms of divorce and making a separation agreement (if possible without going to court),
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This all takes time to get through. And while it sounds pretty easy and straightforward, I honestly find the process of just completing the financial disclosures more burdensome than registering to take the bar exam.
(Also, keep in mind that you’re doing your best to navigate this major life transition while experiencing a total emotional meltdown, so FYI, you won’t be completely on top of it all).
Even in cases where your divorce process is completely amicable, the circumstances are simple, and you are able to comply with the terms, there are often state-mandated waiting periods that intervene.
This means that even if you file everything quickly, you may still have to remain married for another six to twelve months before your state allows a divorce decree to be issued. (Sometimes this waiting period can be reduced if there is mutual agreement for the divorce, but not always). There are also some states that require a waiting period before couples are allowed
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When all is said and done, on average, it takes 3 to 6 months from the filing date of an uncontested divorce to be finalized, whereas a contested divorce usually takes closer to 9 months to a year from the filing date. (The amount of time will vary depending on the state, county, judge, and how efficient the couple is at turning over items).
How do you feel about that? I mean, I understand the general concept of wanting to use systematic boundaries to disincentivize divorce, but shouldn’t we also make the marriage process more thoughtful, lengthy, and intentional to execute?
I’d love to hear your input on this. Please share your thoughts in the comments on this post.
Divorce is usually an expensive process. Between legal fees, court/filing fees, and division of debts and assets, it is nearly impossible for a divorce to be resolved in a cost-effective manner.
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I worked with a reputable and very experienced attorney for my own divorce. He charges $300/hour, which is cheap in a city like New York, but relatively expensive for Boulder, Colorado. And when my final invoice was issued (I paid him a total of $3,100, including fees and court costs), he actually congratulated me for “setting a new record for the lowest fee [he] had ever received in a divorce case. .”
Since I have a law degree, my attorney was pretty liberal in letting me do the work he would normally assign to a paralegal for $100/hour, so I was lucky in that regard. However, the process is still expensive and time consuming to go through.
It’s possible for you to represent yourself and get a divorce for just a few hundred dollars. However, if you choose to go that route, I highly recommend that you ask a divorce attorney to review your filing or, at the very least, consult with a CPA or financial advisor who specializes in divorce.
The reason is, often when couples separate on good terms and decide to divide debts and assets, they don’t realize the long-term tax impact of their actions, which can be very severe and end in divorce. until it bites one or both of them on the way.
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Unfortunately I have found that when it comes to divorce, both parties really lose. Sometimes one loses more than the other. But let’s be clear: there are no “winners” involved.
The process is stressful and drawn out, and usually more expensive than you think. You almost always have to make allowances in dividing your debts and assets with your partner. Plus, you lose out on the financial benefits of having a partner (which is usually at least some kind of cost savings, even if neither of you earns an income).
Of course there are stories about someone walking away from a divorce with some kind of windfall. But even in that scenario, I wouldn’t consider the divorce process a “win” for them. This is not a fun thing to experience, or a worthwhile way to spend months.
Divorce is a draining loss, and if you have to go through it, I’m sorry. But sometimes you have to suffer defeat in life in order to achieve the next victory.
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When I was going through a divorce, even though I had a law degree, I didn’t think about or consider the various options I might have. I panicked, and I looked for a lawyer as fast as I could. I wouldn’t recommend doing what I did.
While the “traditional” approach to divorce is litigation, this process essentially pits you and your attorney against your spouse, which can quickly and easily escalate and result in a more contentious process, a longer divorce term, and higher legal costs . . In the
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