Considering the Financial Ramifications of Divorce
If you are unhappy in your marriage, there are a lot of issues to consider before you decide to file for divorce. The most prominent of these is whether the difficulties in your marriage can be overcome. Many couples work through issues like communication difficulties and differing values through marriage counseling. Even seemingly larger issues like infidelity can be overcome if both parties are committed to repairing their marriage.
If you do decide to file for divorce, consider what will change in your life. Think beyond “how much alimony will I get?” and take the time to truly work through the numbers regarding your financial future. Of course, if your marriage is broken beyond repair, divorce is the best option. Your health, both physical and mental, is priceless.
Financial Pros and Cons of Being Married
There are pros and cons to being married, financial and otherwise. The financial benefits of marriage include:
- The ability to file your taxes jointly and receive the tax benefits reserved for married couples, like higher deduction limits;
- All assets that enter the marriage belong to both parties, which boosts both partners’ net worth;
- The ability to receive healthcare coverage from your spouse or claim him or her on your insurance; and
- The ability to open a spousal IRA and make contributions on behalf of your stay-at-home spouse.
The financial cons of marriage include:
- Joint accountability for all debts accrued during the marriage and tax liabilities;
- Accountability to your partner in all transactions; and
- You could end up paying more money in taxes because your joint income pushes you into a higher tax bracket.
Financial Pros and Cons of Divorce
There are also financial pros and cons to being divorced. The pros include:
- All of your assets are solely yours. This includes the assets you receive in your divorce settlement, any new assets you obtain, and any money you earn;
- You are solely in control of your income and assets; and
- The court can require your former partner to help care for your children through child support payments.
Financial cons of divorce include:
- You will need to file your taxes singly and miss the tax benefits afforded to married couples;
- Only one parent may claim your child as a dependent on their tax return; and
- You can potentially lose a significant amount of your assets in your divorce.
Work with an Experienced New York Family Law Attorney
Knowing whether to leave or remain in an unhappy marriage is never easy. Most marriage issues are not clear-cut – it is possible to feel like you “owe” it to your partner to remain married or that the good aspects of your relationship outweigh the bad. Although nobody other than you can determine whether you will remain in your marriage, a discussion with an experienced divorce lawyer can give you some much-needed clarity to help you make this decision. To have this discussion, schedule your free consultation with Theodore Alatsas, Esq. today.