The Hidden Costs Of Delaying Divorce
Your marriage is over. You know it, your spouse knows, even your children know it. But you haven’t taken any steps to file for divorce.
You keep telling yourself you are waiting for the right time, the children need to be older, you need more money. Excuse after excuse.
But the longer you wait to divorce the more complicated, and expensive, your divorce will be. Here are some of the hidden costs of delaying divorce:
#1: The Pot Keeps Growing
Once you file for divorce the pot is closed. That means whatever assets you earn after that date are no longer marital property.
So if you don’t file right away……
Your spouse’s portion of your pension will continue to grow. Any saving accounts, investments, bonuses from work, or new property will still be considered marital property.
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#2: Maintenance Duration Grows
The longer you are married the longer you pay. If you are the monied spouse you really have to take that into consideration when deciding when to file. Even if you have been living apart, the court will still consider the entire length of the marriage when determining the duration of maintenance.
#3: Effect On The Children
The most important consideration when deciding whether or not to delay a divorce is the effect it will have on your children. Most people focus on how the divorce itself will affect the children while failing to consider the effect of delaying divorce.
If you are considering divorce your household is likely very tense. Children can pick up on that.
And if you are trying to hide it, are you giving them a false sense of security by delaying the inevitable?
Also, if you are separated and have an informal parenting arrangement, judge’s are more inclined to want to keep the status quo. If you are unhappy with the temporary arrangement you have, it may be better to get the divorce action started sooner rather than later.
Free Download: Child Custody Checklist
#4: Emotional Changes
Another reason to avoid delaying divorce is possible emotional changes. Your spouse may have been friendly or generous when you decided to separate but people and emotions change over time. Your spouse could also become comfortable with being separated and lose any desire to cooperate with the divorce.
In many cases people stay separated for so long that they lose contact all together, making it difficult to serve them when you finally decide to file.
#5: You Start New Relationships
Often the introduction of a new love interest changes relationship dynamics. Your spouse may be cooperative at first, but once you have a new partner that may change. And even if they get a new partner, you never know how that will affect their willingness to cooperate in the divorce.
The sooner you file the less likely it is you have to deal with these issues, or if you do at least the divorce will already be underway.
Related: Dating During Divorce
Delaying your divorce can be a costly mistake. Once you know it’s over, you should consult with a new york divorce attorney to learn your options and create a plan to get the divorce going.