Do you know how much a divorce costs?
In the US, a typical divorce costs $15,000 per person. Of course, this figure can go higher or lower, depending on certain factors. These include child custody, alimony, mediation, and so on.
Aside from the costs, there are other consequences to think about, especially for those who have kids. Feelings of guilt, stress, depression are just some of the emotional impacts divorcing couples, and their children could experience.
This is why, before deciding to go ahead with a divorce, some try to explore other options. Here, we’ll discuss 4 alternatives to divorce to help you determine what solution might be best for your situation.
First on the list of divorce alternatives is a legal separation.
Under this arrangement, you and your partner are still married but live apart. Since this is a court-ordered set-up, financial obligations, child support, visitation schedules, etc. are detailed in an agreement.
For some people, this is preferable to divorce for different reasons. Since properties and other assets are still jointly-owned, the financial impacts aren’t as significant compared to what happens after a divorce. There are also people who won’t get a divorce because of religious beliefs, so separation is their only recourse.
In other cases, some states require a legal separation before granting a divorce. For couples with children, legally separating first might be better. This can help kids adjust before making the split more permanent.
As far as alternative divorce solutions go, an annulment is quite unique because it declares the marriage invalid from the get-go.
“How?” you might ask. Well, for the courts to grant you an annulment, you have to prove that you have the grounds to do so. By grounds, we mean bigamy, fraud, mental incapacity, forced consent, and so on.
Also, depending on where you live, annulment proceedings can be as complicated as getting a divorce.
If you’re set on getting a divorce but are worried about legal fees, you should consider mediation.
Here, a neutral third party helps you and your spouse come to an agreement so that you and your spouse can avoid a court trial or a series of hearings.
With this option, you can hire a lawyer or not. However, if you’re concerned about beneficiary designations, a legal expert can help you during the mediation process.
4. DIY Divorce
For some, the do-it-yourself route is appealing because they think they can save money by not hiring a lawyer.
The truth is a DIY divorce can be as costly as a traditional or litigated divorce. If you want to try this, consider your family situation first. For instance, do you have kids?
Will there be no alimony? Are you and your soon-to-be-ex almost debt-free? If you answer no, no, and yes, then a DIY divorce might work, but it wouldn’t hurt to consult an attorney to look over your financials.
Alternatives to Divorce: One More Option to Consider
Aside from the ones already listed, there is one more thing you and your partner can try – saving the marriage.
It’s not always advisable, especially if domestic abuse is an issue, but if you and your spouse haven’t tried counseling yet, you should give it a go. Maybe it will help save your marriage, and perhaps it won’t. But at least you know, you’ve exhausted all options before deciding to dissolve your marriage.
Do You Need More Divorce Advice?
Now that you know some alternatives to divorce, are you still considering getting one?
We can help. Check out our other divorce articles if you need more information and advice.