The Hidden Costs of Getting a Divorce

woman realizing the hidden costs of divorce

Going through a divorce can be an extremely taxing time both financially and emotionally. While the process from a legal and financial standpoint can move relatively smoothly between both parties if they happen to be in agreeance on most things, oftentimes, this is not the case.

Failure to agree and compromise on matters such as asset distribution, along with spousal and child support, can draw the process out making for hefty litigation fees. Aside from the most common costs of getting a divorce such as court fees, mediator fees, process servers and other legal advisors, many people may not be aware of some of the lesser-known costs that come with a divorce. 

To get a better scope of the bigger picture, here are some of those hidden costs brought out into the open.


Missed work

Most couples going through a divorce can be so focused on the divorce itself, they often fail to consider the impact the divorce will have on their work attendance. 

Court appearances and mediator meetings are just a couple of examples of missing work as part of the litigation process, but what about missing work to move into a new home or managing childcare? Additionally, many people can become so emotionally exhausted that their mental health begins to suffer, which can not only affect work attendance but performance as well.

Aside from having missed work negatively impact your income, you can also incur other expenses such as using a payday loan service to make up for missed earnings, which typically come with astronomical interest charges. For less sympathetic employers, missed work can ultimately translate to the loss of employment which could temporarily cut off your primary income altogether.

Missing work is usually not the first thought on people’s minds when going through a divorce but it’s clear to see that this can quickly snowball into more significant costs if not managed properly.


Emotional care 

Navigating a divorce can be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. While some people may be able to manage the experience on their own, many may require the assistance of counselling, therapy, or in dire situations, medications at the recommendation of a doctor.

Therapy and counselling typically aren’t cheap and the longer you remain in need of these services, the greater the price tag will be. Experiencing a divorce can be borderline traumatic for some people and this can either provoke new mental health conditions or aggravate existing ones.

Further costs may be found in medication, whether prescribed for depression, anxiety, or even trouble sleeping at night. Factoring in the costs of medication and therapy can add a significant expense that many people did not anticipate. 


Losing some tax breaks

While there are financial advantages to being single, there are also tax breaks available to married or common-law couples that will no longer be accessible to you. Tax breaks such as the Spousal Tax Credit or the Family Tax Cut, which can be helpful to many couples, will no longer be within your grasp. Additionally, the ability to pool charitable donations or medical expenses will also no longer be available.

While there may be some new tax break opportunities as a single person, if you’ve depended on the tax breaks available to married or common-law couples in the past, you may now have to revaluate your options.


Single life economy

Living in a marriage or common-law relationship offers couples a more robust economy when it comes to finances. 

For example, cooking for two or more is typically more economical in terms of time and output. Combined incomes are usually more beneficial when it comes to shopping and other routine expenses. Finally, considering the notion that “time is money,” trips to the grocery store, picking up and dropping off children, along with other common errands, can no longer be shared amongst two people. This could translate to more time spent performing these errands when they would once be divided among two spouses. Usually, living alone tends to cost more.


The value of being prepared

At the end of the day, it will typically be litigation costs that end up being the most expensive when going through a divorce, however, it’s evident that these hidden costs can also add up quickly. 

When navigating all the financial considerations involved with divorce, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared and have also considered all the possible hidden costs that may present themselves before, during, and after this kind of separation.

For help in divorce planning and ensuring there are no financial surprises down the road, reach out to our family law specialists who can provide expert advice and insight to help you minimize costs and stress during an already difficult time. The Dreyer and Associates team is here to help.





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