If marriage didn’t involve so much financial entanglement, we’d probably have a lot more divorces. But – divorce is a complicated process. There are court fees, legal fees, child support, and spousal support to consider. Many would say, “Divorce comes at a high price,” and if the spouses disagree, the divorce will come at a much higher price.
Some spouses will walk away from the divorce with significantly less assets than they had before the divorce, plus they’ll have gone through quite an emotional rollercoaster. At the end of the day, divorce can make spouses feel like they were really put through the ringer. However, for most spouses there’s a silver lining to divorce.
If you’re seriously considering divorce, we want you to know that divorce is not that bad. While it can be difficult while you’re in the thick of it, the results and the outcome are usually much better than living in a hollow, unsatisfying marriage. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of divorce, which demonstrate that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
1. You have better control over your money. The end of a marriage means you gain full control over your money. You no longer argue over financial habits. You don’t have to get frustrated because your spouse needs to scale back their spending. No more complaining because your spouse blows all the money. Instead, you have 100% control over your financial future.
2. You can live life on your terms. A lot of spouses lose a part of themselves when they get married. They changed themselves to make their spouses happy. Now, you get to live life on your terms – whatever this means to you. If your spouse has been holding you back in any way, there’s no longer anyone stopping you or keeping you from doing the things that you enjoy. Want to go back to school? Do it! Want to join a gym? There’s no one stopping you! Want to change careers? Well, you can do that too. The possibilities are endless.
3. It will be easier for you to budget. When you budget for one person instead of two, it’s just easier. It means, one student loan, not two. One cell phone bill, not two. You’ll also save on utilities, groceries, auto insurance, health insurance, and more. One the other end of divorce, you’ll discover a lot of financial freedom. You have complete control.
4. You can focus on your children 100%. When you are with your children, you can focus 100% of your time, effort and energy on enjoying them, that is when you’re not at work. If you were very busy while you were married, now that you’re divorced, you’ll have every desire to spend quality time with your kids. Whether this means chatting at the dinner table, taking a walk together, watching a movie, taking a hike, or hitting the waves at the beach, divorce has a way of making parents and children savor their time together.
5. You can follow your dreams. Have you been dreaming of going back to school, starting a new career, skydiving, taking up a new hobby, starting a business, or doing something daring and exciting? As a divorced person, you can follow your dreams, whatever they may be. If your spouse criticized your interests before, or was strongly against them, now you can pursue them wholeheartedly.
6. Access retirement funds without a penalty. Divorce is one of the few times that someone can withdraw money from a retirement account early without being subject to an early withdrawal penalty. This is made possible when spouses agree on a qualified domestic relations order, which allows for an early withdrawal. Meaning, the standard 10 percent penalty will not be assessed if the individual is under the age of 59 1/2. However, if the funds are not rolled into an IRA, the person will still have to pay income tax.
7. You kids may receive more financial aid. Divorce may be difficult on older children, but in regards to college financial aid, divorce can actually improve their situation. When a student takes advantage of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, he or she is only required to provide the financial information of their custodial parent; they do not need to use both parents’ incomes. However, any child and spousal support received must be included in the FAFSA.
8. You can focus on self-improvement. Lots of us want to focus on improving ourselves, but we have little time, especially if our free time is focused on maintaining an unhappy marriage. As a single person, you can focus on self-improvement because you have more time to do it. This could mean continuing education, attending seminars and conventions, enrolling in college classes after work, getting back in shape, travelling, learning a new skill, or all the above.
9. Social Security perks if you’re older. If you’re 62 or older and you were married to your spouse for 10 or more years, you may be entitled to Social Security perks on your former spouse’s earning record. You do not have to inform your ex that you’re doing it and it will not affect the benefits that he or she receives. Even if your former spouse has not filed for benefits, you can still apply under their earning record providing their benefits are more than yours. Recommended reading: “9 Things to Know About a Gray Divorce.”
We are only scratching the surface as to the benefits of divorce. If you’d like to get started, contact us today to meet with a Los Angeles divorce attorney for free.