Marriage is difficult and sometimes, no matter how hard a couple tries to make it work, divorce seems inevitable. Unfortunately, many individuals feel forced to stay in unhappy marriages simply because they don’t have enough money to pay for a divorce. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this situation even direr with relationships struggling to survive lockdowns and difficulties, with many individuals out of work and unemployed.
If you don’t have a job, is a divorce out of reach? We can help you understand your options in filing for divorce – even if you are unemployed.
Paying for a Divorce When Unemployed
Everyone knows that a divorce is expensive. While a wedding can be a hit on the wallet, ending the marriage can cost just as much if not more. The average cost of a divorce is over $12k – a scary prospect for individuals who are out of work. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the price tag in your situation. If you and your spouse can make decisions and settle issues outside of court, then you can look at a split that potentially costs as little as $750 through an uncontested divorce. Additionally, you have the option of going through mediation – which is a much more affordable option for separating partners.
Can You Receive Spousal Support?
In some cases, unemployed spouses can receive alimony or spousal support following a divorce. If you are awarded this support, it means that your ex will be financially responsible for providing you with some money each month to help you cover your personal expenses. Your chances of getting spousal support are greater if you’ve been married for a long period of time and spent most of the marriage out of work. Don’t think that you can simply quit work before a divorce and then have your ex-partner pay your way – the courts will quickly recognize this tactic and may even treat you harsher in all areas.
What if You Have to Pay Support When Unemployed?
During the pandemic, many high-earning employees found themselves out of work following shutdowns and economic changes. If you have been the higher-earning partner for most of your marriage but are now out of work, your ex-partner may still try to get child support or spousal support. Thankfully, the courts are understanding of these situations and will take your current financial situation into consideration. Don’t be shy about showing the courts that you simply do not have enough income to cover these expenses and are trying but struggling to find employment. If your situation changes in the future, your ex-partner can always go back and request more support then.
Don’t Try to Avoid Work
If you are able to work and have opportunities for good employment options, don’t avoid them in an effort to get a better divorce deal. If you have to go to court, a judge will quickly spot this behavior and will probably rule in your ex’s favor – straddling you with excessive support payments and potential debt.
Getting a divorce is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible even if you’re unemployed. If you are thinking of ending your marriage, it’s time to talk to an attorney about your options. A good divorce lawyer will look over your case and explain how much support you may be entitled to along with what you should expect to pay. Call our offices today to talk with an attorney who can help you understand your options and learn how to navigate your unique financial situation.