At Merit Financial Advisors, we have a focus on home finances and helping our clients create strategies to work towards financially stable during troubled times – such as a divorce.  As a certified divorce financial analyst, we are always glad to help make a divorce go more smoothly and offer reassurance during an uncertain process, we also want our clients to know that there are also alternatives to divorce which are worth exploring.

After all, the average cost of any divorce in the US is roughly $15,000, (please state the reference) and that number only goes up if it turns into a legal battle.  Sometimes, of course, a contested divorce cannot be avoided – but here are some alternatives to consider.

Voluntary Separation

Sometimes, the easiest solution feels like having someone move out. There are no legal requirements that couples live together, so a pair may potentially remain married while leading entirely separate lives.  In this situation, joint property remains jointly owned, and of course, re-marriage is impossible without a divorce, but it avoids much of the unpleasantness associated with a divorce.

Also, some time apart may heal wounds, or help the couple realize they’re better together than separated.

Mediation

Even if it seems like a divorce is unavoidable, it doesn’t have to be nasty or drawn-out.  We’re big fans of mediation, particularly with divorce financial planners on-hand to help keep matters fact-based.  Very often, a divorcing couple can avoid protracted legal battles simply by working out matters like child custody and property division beforehand.

When handled under the auspices of an attorney, the resulting agreement can become legally binding.  This streamlines the actual legal process of divorce.

“Conscious Uncoupling”

The stereotype of divorces being unpleasant drawn-out battles is not necessarily true.  Many couples, upon realizing that their marriage doesn’t work, are capable of resolving their differences for themselves.  Like mediation, conscious uncoupling focuses on calm and reasonable discussion of the separation and planning the divorce in a way that minimizes trauma to everyone involved – particularly children.

However, unlike legal mediation, conscious uncoupling is an unofficial practice.  Any agreement reached would not be legally binding without signed contracts making the agreement official.

Merit Financial Advisors Wants to Help You in Difficult Times

If you think a divorce is even a possibility, we strongly advise that you consult with a certified divorce financial analyst before making any decisions.  Contact us for caring, considerate financial planning advice.

Opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Merit Financial Group, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Merit Financial Group, LLC and Merit are separate entities from LPL Financial.