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The true cost of divorce

Alex Wilson, SavingsGuide.com.au Updated June 3, 2013, 8:00 am

Divorce may be the ticket out of a miserable marriage but how much is it going to cost you?

The thought of divorce implies a plethora of unhappiness – telling people you have a failed marriage, having to deal with lawyers, the emotional rollercoaster ahead and of course the toll it is going to take on you financially.

Pre-nuptial agreement or not, your wallet is going to lose some weight.

The reality is that nearly one third of all Australian marriages will end in divorce (abs.gov.au).

With this in mind, we look at the true cost of a failed marriage and how it will burn your money.

Divorce lawyers

Much like any kind of lawyers, these nasty yet needed little creatures will cost you an arm and a leg. The average cost of a solicitor is well over $150 with many costing up to $600 per hour of work. Considering you have to use them to process your divorce, let alone negotiate on your behalf should communication become irreparable, you are in for one hell of a costly legal bill.

Related: Why you need a prenup

Mutual assets

Whether it is a house, car, boat or pet – mutually owned assets will need to be split. If you cannot decide the fairest way to split these assets, your lawyers will have to get involved. This means more money and more anxiety. The majority of couples find it easier to simply sell all of their assets and use the cash to evenly split.

Regardless of pre-nuptial agreements, earnings and assets made as a couple are subject to divorce proceedings – only money made pre-wedding is protected for those out there thinking a pre-nup was watertight.

Related: Which gender hides the most from their partner?

Child support

Child support is a fair and measured way of ensuring both parents are responsible for the growth and development of their children.

The costs, however, can seem extravagant. Many people say the cost of paying child support is higher than the cost of actually living with your child and funding them. Consider evenly sharing the time with your children as an alternate measure to simply sending child support payments each month.

This ranges from home phones, gas bills, water bills to the cost of housing. The moment you commit to divorce you will experience an upswing in costs. For instance, moving out of the shared house equates to having to pay rent again – something that straight away costs you nearly $1000 per week.

As you no longer have a joint income to maintain costs, you need to factor in this increased cost of living and all of the basic items you take for granted will now once again cost you personally with no significant other to lighten the load. Perhaps that means rethinking your premium pay TV subscription?

Related: Weird places people hide money around the home

Costs you no longer share

This ranges from home phones, gas bills, water bills to the cost of housing. The moment you commit to divorce you will experience an upswing in costs. For instance, moving out of the shared house equates to having to pay rent again – something that straight away costs you nearly $1000 per week.

As you no longer have a joint income to maintain costs, you need to factor in this increased cost of living and all of the basic items you take for granted will now once again cost you personally with no significant other to lighten the load. Perhaps that means rethinking your premium pay TV subscription?

Related: Hiding money from your partner, smart or wrong?

The final word on divorce

Divorce exists for a reason – if you are unhappy, you can exit your marriage.

Costs and financial implications should play no part in the decision process of divorce however you must account for the money you are going to need in order to follow through. For those looking to get divorced, get your savings going and fast!

Compare: Top 10 high interest savings accounts

Source: Alex Wilson, writer for Savings Guide

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