Divorce Costs how much?

It depends on the situation; for example, if you have substantial or complicated assets your divorce cost may be higher. If you own a small business and take liberties with deducting your personal expenses as business expenses on your taxes your divorce cost will be higher. If you or your spouse have significant separate property claims your divorce cost will be higher. If you cannot have productive and respectful discussions with your spouse your divorce cost will be higher. In our experience the most expensive divorces are fought by two parties who HATE each other for one reason or another. Sadly the legal system is structured in a way leaving these two hateful individuals more angry at the end of the process than they were at the outset. It also depends on the attorney’s hourly rate and if he or she is inclined to encourage a settlement. Hiring the most expensive attorney in town known for being a shark will increase you divorce cost.

Wellspring Divorce Advisors coaches clients to think of their potential divorce cost as a continuum from highest to lowest rather than absolute dollar terms. Click here for a brief overview of your main options from proceeding or call us for an overview and consultation to help you choose. Our experience has shown the engagement with Wellspring Divorce Advisors will reduce your overall cost significantly.

Ranked below are your process options ranked highest to lowest in cost. We have seen litigation cases cost millions of dollars in fees and mediation cases with equivalent amounts of assets done for $15,000.

  1. Litigation
  2. Adversarial with Settlement
  3. Collaborative Divorce
  4. Mediation
  5. Pro-Per

Caveat: A failed mediation can easily land you in a litigation model and cost even more. Make sure you understand mediation before opting in. The model is often misunderstood and full of less than reputable professionals.

How does a payment qualify as spousal support or alimony?

Just because a payment is called “spousal support” or alimony does not mean that the IRS will view is that way.  The following requirements must be met for a payment to qualify as spousal support. We call them the eight D’s of alimony.

1) Dollars must be received by or on behalf of a spouse

2) Documented by a divorce or separation agreement

3) Designation of payments: cannot opt out of §71 or §215

4) Distance: couple cannot live in the same residence

5) Dependents cannot change alimony

6) Dual returns: separate tax returns must be filed

7) Dumping: front-loaded payments are not allowed and may subject the payor to alimony recapture

8) Death of the recipient must end payments

20 Questions to ask a Divorce Attorney before retaining them

Here are some examples of questions you should consider asking a divorce attorney before retaining them. They are listed, loosely, in order of importance. The questions are designed to help make sure you hire an attorney who:

  • spends the majority, if not all, of their time practicing family law
  • has the skills to settle your case outside of court if possible as this is always the preferred conclusion
  • recognizes the value of experts in finance and mental health
  • can provide you reassurance you will be fairly billed and paid attention to during the emotional process of divorce
  1. What percentage of your practice is divorce?
  2. What kind of trial experience have you had in divorce?
  3. What percentage of your cases settle outside of court?
  4. Are you a certified specialist in family law?
  5. How many divorces did you work on last year?
  6. Do you typically engage experts such as forensic accountants, certified divorce financial analysts, child custody experts and vocational evaluators?
  7. Do you use experts as trial consultants to help you prepare case theory on specific issues?
  8. Do you typically try to settle cases?
  9. Are you trained in mediation?
  10. Do you provide unbundled legal services?
  11. How do you bill?
  12. Can you estimate what your fees will be?
  13. Other than attorney fees, are there any costs that I will need to pay?
  14. How much do you think these costs will be?
  15. Will an assistant do the work or are you going to work on it yourself?
  16. How will I be charged for your assistant’s work?
  17. Who is the contact person in your office?
  18. What can I do to keep my fees down?
  19. How do temporary spousal support and child support work?
  20. How long will it take to finish the divorce process?

Wellspring Divorce Advisors advocates all clients have legal representation during divorce. A large percentage of Americans do divorce without legal assistance but we believe he/she who represent themselves have a fool for a client. Please get legal advice. If you cant afford it find an attorney who provides unbundled services so you can just pay as you go without a large retainer.

The Trouble with Gray Divorce

Simply put……..The older you are when you divorce the lower your chances of recovering from any mistakes you make during the financial settlement process. It is critical for anyone over 50 to concentrate on the long term financial planning implications of the settlement. You will have to live with the results the rest of your life. If you are part of a gray divorce you must answer 5 simple divorce financial planning questions along the way towards your financial settlement. Read more

5 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Decide To Divorce – According to Dr. Phil

1. Have you done everything you can to save and rehabilitate your marriage?

2. Do you have unfinished emotional business?

3. Have you researched, planned, and prepared yourself legally for divorce? Divorce can be complicated. It involves money, custody issues, child support, spousal support, and other legal aspects. You need to educate yourself, protect yourself and empower yourself; until you’ve done that, you’re not ready. For example, do you know how many bank accounts you have as a couple and individually? Any other marital assets you might be entitled to? Consult with at least three attorneys as you explore the option of divorce. “There are economic realities that you have to acknowledge,” says Dr. Phil, “but you are Read more