What to Do if You Cannot Afford a Divorce
Divorce typically is not prohibitively expensive, especially if you and your spouse are still on speaking terms and can move through divorce mediation or arbitration together. The total costs and fees you can expect to pay depends primarily on the complexity of your case, your attorney’s fees and any additional incurred costs. But in most cases, you will have some level of control over alimony, child support, custody and the division of assets and property.
There are some cases in which a marriage has deteriorated to the point where an amicable split will not be possible. In these cases, courtroom litigation is more likely to occur, which means significantly higher fees for the parties involved.
If you are not in a solid financial place at the moment, this will not be good news for you. However, there are other alternatives to divorce you can pursue, depending on your circumstances. These include the following:
This is separation without any legal oversight. It won’t cost you much and is more likely to be a viable option if you do not have children or valuable property to fight over. But there are some drawbacks. A lack of legal oversight means you have no recourse to take legal action if your spouse does not follow through on the agreement you formed at the outset of this separation.
You are also still legally married, which means you’ll be bound by all legal obligations associated with marriage, including liability for debts incurred by your spouse.
Legal separation is more “official” than a simple separation. It’s a formal agreement in which you decide you will live apart and addresses many of the same issues that would be addressed in a divorce, such as child custody, child support and asset division. You’re still married, but the separation agreement controls your obligations. There is a cost associated with this process, but it is typically much lower than divorce.
For more information on alternatives to divorce or the steps to take if you are worried about the costs, work with an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.