It is no secret that ending a marriage can be expensive. Outside of legal fees, a divorce can also lead each spouse to have to get used to a single income again, and that might be harder than it sounds. For many people in British Columbia, especially women, reverting to a single income household can be an involved, challenging process. This is why it is important for both parties to have a solid handle on finances before approaching the negotiation table.
A recent survey suggests that, especially for those aged 40 to 49, divorce is a leading cause of financial insolvency: as many as 20 percent of insolvency cases can be traced to divorce. While there is rarely a single cause for an individual to declare bankruptcy, the associated costs of divorce can certainly lead down that road. Legal fees play a role in this, but there are other, more pressing factors to consider.
While it might sound like downsizing is a good way to save money, removing one whole income from the equation turns it from a sound financial decision to a necessary one. Many individuals find themselves fighting for marital assets like the family home, only to realize they don’t make enough money to keep up with the mortgage payments alone. And for those who choose to “start over” again, the start up costs of moving, replacing shared possessions and essentially beginning a new life in middle age, the costs can be startling.
Divorce is a difficult process, both emotionally and financially. British Columbia residents considering divorce will want to bear in mind the financial realities of the decision, and prepare for the fallout as best they can. Securing the support of an experienced family law attorney is a good first step.