The old adage states that money can be a great equalizer. Those who are in the middle of a divorce are definitely able to attest to that claim, especially when it comes to divorce proceedings. In many cases, in divorce proceedings, or in other civil and criminal actions, the amount of available funding for these legal activities can greatly influence one’s case. It could make the difference between more than just winning and losing, but also the extent of property that each party may be able to acquire after equitable distribution.
Financial Issues Resulting from Divorce
Though many married women are currently employed and many are the breadwinners of the family, there are still many instances where women are still at a disadvantage financially because of a disparity in income due to the wage gap seen between the sexes, or a decision to stay at home with the family. These issues are exacerbated by the fact that divorce settlements can drag on for months and even years, especially when the relationship becomes acrimonious as a result of the divorce.
At the end of the day, regardless of whether you are in a more advantageous financial situation than your spouse, a long-running divorce will cost a significant amount; the difference, however, is whether the divorce will lead to financial ruin by one party, or if the financial disparities will lead to one of the spouses giving up significant stakes in property because of the applied financial pressures associated.
What is Divorce Financing?
In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in divorce financing options. Companies have begun to provide divorce financing to those spouses who may be at a financial disadvantage when it comes to the divorce proceedings, so that the two parties can be on even grounds. Divorce financing has been part of a growing industry since 2009. Some of the companies provide a loan with terms similar to credit cards. Some companies, however, structure their agreements as investments whereby the company receives their return on investment at the outcome of the case. The latter arrangement puts the company alongside of the spouse so his/her loss is their loss, and his/her gain is their gain.
Limitations of Divorce Financing
These companies, however, do not automatically fund all divorces. They do a cost-risk analysis to weigh the benefits of getting involved in this domestic dispute, along with the costs of attorneys’ fees and other expenses. If the company believes that the spouse has a strong case and could win a significant amount of money by winning the most lucrative marital assets for the spouse, then the company has an incentive - the possible big pay out - to get involved. Also, most of these companies want the client to attempt to find other avenues for funding first before getting involved.
Preparations to Make Divorce Financing a Last Resort
Though divorce financing is the new trend, it still is best if spouses prepare themselves at the onset of marriage for a possible divorce. Some of the following are options for spouses to protect and adequately prepare themselves for divorce costs, even if the marriage is happy:
- Put aside a secret fund for divorce proceedings. Knowing that you have this money set aside could help assuage any concerns and can head off a surprise divorce.
- Understand the financials of the household. If you know what the marital assets are, then you are better prepared to know what share should be yours and what should be your spouse’s if there is a divorce.
- Prepare a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Having a pre/postnuptial agreement can make the divorce less protracted as the assets are more or less divvied up as a result of the agreement. In this way, half the work (or more) is already done, and this could make the possibility of a long, protracted divorce less likely.
Experienced Family Law Attorneys in DuPage County
If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, it is important speak with the experienced family law attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC about property division and the divorce proceedings. Contact our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.