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Financial reasons to re-think a divorce

Couples in Maryland often have valid reasons for splitting up. Even so, it's generally advised -- as long as an unsafe domestic situation doesn't exist -- that spouses who've reached a point where divorce is being discussed take a moment to consider the full financial implications associated with untying the knot. This doesn't mean that couples should stick things out just to avoid financial challenges. However, it never hurts to be fully informed about what a newly single life may actually look like.

The end of a marriage often leads to wrangling over the marital home. However, maintaining a home on half as much income can sometimes be difficult, especially when there are utility bills and household expenses for things like food and regular upkeep. Not having enough money to manage a home may result in accumulating more debt with loans. In a worst-case scenario, the house may be lost during bankruptcy proceedings.

Selling the house may seem like a sensible move for splitting couples. However, a rush to get the process over with may mean accepting a low-ball offer. A bad real estate market could make it even more difficult to get a good price for a home. Should a couple opt to hold off on selling the marital home until they can get a better offer, they may find themselves juggling expenses for multiple homes. Fees for attorneys, real estate agents, movers, accountants, financial planners and other third-party professionals can also add up.

Some budget-concerned couples that do opt for a divorce attempt to save money with self-representation. However, not having the assistance of an attorney increases the risk of overlooking important details that could result in long-term financial losses. For instance, not dividing assets in a sensible way may leave one spouse with unexpected tax burdens. A lawyer is also more likely to be able to negotiate a fair settlement and handle any spousal support and child custody issues that arise.

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