A lot of people are coming to us stating that they want a divorce but they cannot justify the cost of hiring a lawyer right now. While it is true that taking one house and dividing it into two can be financially straining, there are some people who may get a huge financial benefit by divorcing when they are experiencing financial difficulties. This benefit may substantially outweigh the legal fees involved in divorcing.

  1. If you have been laid-off, if your income has been significantly reduced, or if you are self-employed and your company is struggling to pay you, you may benefit from filing for divorce now rather than when your income is greater.
  2. If you company is struggling, both the cash flow analysis used to determine child support and alimony will be better for you and the valuation of the company as a marital asset will also be lower and better for you.
  3. If you are considering filing bankruptcy for marital debts that are primarily held in your name but not your spouses, divorcing would make your spouse liable for 1/2 of that marital debt and could save you from having to file bankruptcy!
  4. Values of houses, cars, RVs, boats and other assets are lower when you cannot afford to buy newer vehicles. Two options, if you have to equally distribute the equity, it could be a good idea to keep possession of as many of those low value assets as possible in the divorce. Pay out to your spouse 1/2 of the equity at divorce date and then see if the economic recovery increases your asset value. If so, you’ve now made money over and above what you gave your spouse. Or, give your spouse the low value assets and try to get cash value in exchange out of bank accounts or other assets that have stable values.

While divorcing during financial hardship can add to the strain of getting a divorce, deciding WHEN to divorce is a strategic choice that should be taken into consideration. If divorce is likely to happen, timing can make a big difference!

Utah Family Law Blog