Most people dream of the day that they will walk down the aisle with their loved one, in front of all their friends and family, publicly declaring their unconditional love and devotion to each other. For most, it’s a very happy occasion that no one will ever forget. There’s probably great food, tasteful music, loads of pictures being taken, and the classic exchanging of rings be the couple. The grandeur of a “happily ever after” is so powerful that there are over 2.3 million marriage celebrations in the United States each year.
Too bad the happiness of that day doesn’t always seep into all the years to come after the ceremony. The positive feelings quickly fly away as the impending doom of divorce settles for some couples, and the process hasn’t even started yet. If you thought it was difficult making decisions getting married, you apparently haven’t been divorced, which happens 40-50% of the time now. Here are some of the (not so) fun items you have to (not) look forward to when you decide to take back your “I do.”
Once you’ve decided to get divorced, the last thing you probably want around is a constant reminder of the love you once had. “Should I sell my engagement ring?” If this thought runs through your mind, that doesn’t make you a heartless individual. It’s a valid consideration considering the turn of events that have taken place in your life, and the extra money won’t hurt with what else is to come.
If you can, try having a discussion to see who should be the one to get the money after selling the ring, or you can decide to split it. If you can’t come to a decision, your lawyer can help with that during the divorce settlement.
Here are two things to keep in mind:
- Precious stones and metals can be repurposed, so selling isn’t the only option.
- If it’s a family heirloom, give it back to the rightful family.
The Lawyer and the Fees
Did you know that some unhappy couples stay legally married because they can’t afford to get divorced? It’s true. In some cases, you can determine your own terms in a divorce without a lawyer to save money. However, if things can’t be settled amicably, getting a lawyer is pretty much unavoidable. You likely won’t spend as much as you did on your wedding day, but it will cost a lot of pretty pennies.
Other players that may come in are professional divorce mediators, estate lawyers, and anyone else that is needed to settle your divorce correctly. While not everyone is required, there can be several entities involved in the finalization of the divorce.
Remember all the things that changed in your life when you got married? The joint bank accounts, merging insurance policies, moving in together. One of you probably even changed your name. Well, all of that is going to go back to the way it was before you got married for the most part.
Disjoining bank accounts and ending linked credit cards can be done before the divorce is even underway, and it’s probably a good idea. If your fear that your future ex-spouse is going to run up a credit card bill or steal money from you, sever those ties first.
Other than the ring, there is another constant reminder that will exist to remind you of your marriage, and that’s your name. Most of the time, you’ll go back through the same process to change your name back as you did after you got married. Do some research for your state when it comes to name changes. If you wait too long, it might be another expense in the divorce process that could have been avoided.
If you’ve had kids while you were married, even more, changes are in your future. A custody hearing is likely if you can’t come to your own visitation agreement, and explaining to your kids why mommy and daddy don’t live together anymore is not something anyone is prepared for.
Now that you have a snapshot of what the future holds when you go from “I do” to “I don’t,” you may be considering trying to make things work out. There are numerous marriage counselors and therapists to help repair the most profound issues before ultimately calling it quits. If it doesn’t work out, they’ll at least be able to refer you to a good divorce lawyer.