Monday, July 20, 2009

For Those Unable to Afford a Divorce

As usual you will find good advice from Dick Price and Divorce and Family Law in Tarrant County, Texas Blog in If You Need to Wait Because You Can't Afford to Divorce... (sorry, if it has taken me a bit of time getting this published):

For people choosing to wait, here are some other options:

1. Get a post-nuptial agreement. Many people are familiar to some extent with pre-nuptial agreements. I have written about them before. A post-nup is like a pre-nup, only later. Texas law allows a married couple to sign a partition agreement to divide their assets and liabilities. It can also provide for how present and future income will be managed. While it is not cheap, a post-nuptial partition agreement is probably much less expensive than a divorce and it will accomplish about the same thing as a divorce as far as property division. An attorney would be needed for each side. I would suggest using Collaborative Law to work out the agreement on the best possible terms for both parties, so you would be best served by contacting Collaborative lawyers.

2. Do financial planning. This is a less dramatic step than doing a partition agreement. The couple could meet with a financial planner to brainstorm ideas to find the best way to manage their finances during the downturn and into the future. A lot of the stress people are experiencing is from uncertainty about survival now and in the future. Getting qualified help to plan a strategy may resolve the concerns and leave the parties in a better frame of mind. A certified divorce financial planner or a regular financial planner can probably help you with this.

3. Take steps to enhance your marriage. Getting counseling is a common suggestion, but it makes sense. If you feel like you can't afford a divorce, but one or both of you is miserable in the relationship, then maybe you should try to make the relationship more bearable. Sometimes a marriage retreat can be helpful. There may be some groups around that you could join. Or, you could go to individual and couples counseling. Things around the house might really improve if you and your spouse follow through with counseling. Even if your marriage doesn't survive, at least the divorce later on might be more civilized. First, contact a marriage and family therapist and give it a try.

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