Your financial future can feel bleak after the divorce process is finalized. Through the division of assets, you no longer are able to live at the same standard of living that you previously did, and with responsibilities like alimony and child support, percentages of your income are no longer available to you.
While you may have to cut some costs and make some adjustments to your previous habits, this pales in comparison to the emotional costs you have to suffer when you find yourself in an unhappy and dysfunctional marriage.
There is an expression that has been said in many circles of men discussing the topic of divorce: “It is cheaper to keep her.” While the expression is targeted toward men who may feel slighted from experiencing the divorce process, in which the gender stereotypes regarding child custody rights, alimony, child support, and a wealth of other issues that continue to pervade the family court system, it may not actually reflect the truth of the divorce experience.
With only a finite number of days in your lifetime, you do not want to be spending any more than you have to in an unhappy and dysfunctional marriage, where your daily life consists of arguments, stress, and resentment. It is not only unproductive but also unhealthy and detrimental to your self-esteem.
A study from Penn State University examined the long-term effects of low-quality marriages on overall well-being. They tracked unhappy marriages over a 12-year period and interviewed 1,150 at four separate points, in order to assess faithfulness, overall happiness, agreement, helpfulness around the house, and whether the marriage was getting better or worse.
The results of the study showed that those in unhappy marriages experienced a lower level of overall happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem and health, due to the lowered levels of social and emotional support in the relationship.
A study, published by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, showed less than 60 percent of spouses reported to be happy in their marriage in 2014, down from the 65 percent in 2013. Staying in that type of relationship can come at the costs of your mental and emotional well-being.
These costs cannot be set aside when assessing whether or not it is cheaper to stay married. They are too important to your overall sense of self and are necessary for your overall growth and future.
From a financial perspective, many people see the legal process of divorce as a costly one. They see the costs that family law attorneys may require and scoff at the notion of paying fees, hoping for a cheaper option to arise.
When it comes to seeking the right attorney for you, you do have to stay within your budget. However, the quality of your attorney is something that you cannot afford to skimp out on.
Instead of paying for it when you feel that you are grossly overpaying in child support and alimony, as well as in the lack of time you are allowed to spend with your children, it may be more beneficial to your overall well-being if you pay for a quality family attorney that you can trust.
A quality family law attorney, like the ones at Cordell & Cordell, is equipped with the knowledge and experience necessary to help you in your current predicament. They understand the needs of men and fathers and work with them to help them achieve the best outcome possible.
Now or later
As difficult as it may be to stomach legal fees, it pales in comparison to the long-term financial problems that can arise with high alimony and child support payments. You also may not get all of the assets that you desire in your divorce, nor have a favorable child custody schedule, should you decide to hire a lawyer that costs less.
While the legal costs may seem like a lot and the recovery process may seem like a substantial amount of time, it is ultimately cheaper to go through all of these steps than to stay in an unhappy and dysfunctional marriage, costing you your health, your self-esteem, your mental health, your emotional health, and the stability of your financial future.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.