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Hidden Costs Associated with Divorce


Going through a divorce is not only emotionally difficult, but it can also be financially very stressful as well. While many people are prepared to pay for the legal fees associated with their divorce, there are often underlying costs they may not have anticipated. For example:

Real Estate costs: When a couple divorces or separates, one of the spouses needs find another place to live. Financially this means putting down a deposit, first and last month's rent, hiring movers, buying furniture, setting up utilities, etc.

Health Insurance: If you were on your spouse's health insurance plan, you will no longer be covered once you get divorced. Therefore, you will need to sign up for your own plan, which can cost you several hundred dollars a month. You can continue the coverage you had under your spouse's plan through the government's COBRA, but you'll be responsible for paying the premium yourself.

Mental Health: Many people who go through the divorce process experience a variety of emotions that may be difficult to deal with on their own. It's normal for someone to seek out therapy to help them cope with the drastic changes going on in their life. Sometimes a person's insurance policy covers mental health treatment, but for many people, these expenses come out-of-pocket.

Credit: Credit is one of the top things to suffer during a divorce. It is crucial that you do not let your credit slip. Even if you are going through the worst divorce in the country, remain aware of how much you are spending and be sure to pay your bills on time. If you have joint accounts or your name is on the mortgage, you should cancel those cards and get the balance transferred onto an account that is just in your name. You can also have your named removed from the mortgage if you are not responsible for making the payments. This will protect you in the event that your ex fails to make payments.

Hired Help: After a divorce you may need to hire someone to help around the house. Whether you need babysitting, home repair, garden work, etc., it all costs money.

Keeping the House: Often times, one of the spouses wishes to remain in the family home, usually to provide a sense of continuity for the children. However, paying for household expenses can be expensive, even when alimony or child support is being paid. In some cases, people end up selling the home. But even putting the home on the market will cost money. You may need to fix up the house and you'll need to hire and pay a real estate agent.

Taxes: There are a number of taxes that may apply to your situation. It is important that you are not caught off-guard, and that you are prepared for any tax expenses that may come your way.

Children and Teenagers: As children get older, the cost of caring for them gets higher. They need new clothes, school books, computers, cell phones, and will probably want all of the latest gadgets. It is important that you are prepared for how much it will cost to raise and care for your children, while they are young and once they become teenagers.

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