When you want to divorce, mediation or arbitration but can’t afford it

Divorce is one of the harsh realities that many couples face these days. According to statistics, about 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce. However, divorce is not cheap and so many couples choose to stay together even when they could be better apart. If you are such a pair, then you should know that you have options.

The high cost of divorce

Divorce costs are not always exorbitant. A few factors will determine the cost of a divorce. For example how complicated your divorce case is and any support costs. By support costs, I mean for things like mediators and other experts. Ideally the more you and your spouse can agree on the faster your divorce and the less it will cost. So it’s recommended that you sit down like adults and come to an agreement on issues such as alimony, custody of children and property distribution before you visit the lawyers.

However, even if you are prepared some people just don’t have the money to undergo a divorce. The option is to stay together with a spouse you do not care about under the same roof. When you no longer have feelings for a spouse, it is torture living with them, and you almost always end up quarreling a lot. It’s better to explore other options of leaving each other apart from divorce or mediation that will set you free from each other.

Some of the choices you have apart from divorce or mediation are;

Separation

You can separate from your spouse without any legal intervention such as filing for divorce proceedings or using mediation. It is an ideal way of getting away from each other without paying for divorce lawyers and other experts. It’s simple but requires a lot of maturity between you and your spouse.

Separation works best when you have little to fight for in your marriage. It means you have no property, children or spousal support to fight for and you just want to go your separate ways. Also, it will work in the case of adults that can choose to stay apart, divide any assets amicably and peacefully decide on how to parent the children. It works well in the peaceful ending of a marriage where a couple accepts the end of the marriage and decides to work with each other for a smooth transition.

While separation is simple, it comes with some loopholes. You are still legally married in the eyes of the law. So you still have to meet the legal obligations of a married couple and may be liable for anything your partner does even if you live separately. So you have to pool together to make it work.

Undergoing a separation can also help you to move towards a divorce gradually. Some couples separate for a few years and then divorce. During the time they are separated, they can move on with their lives, improve their finances and get used to living apart from each other such that by the time they divorce it’s easy. It ends up costing so much less than if they divorced off the bat.

Get an occupancy order

However, separation is not for all couples. With some, there is too much acrimony to harmoniously separate. In such a case, one can ask for an occupancy order. This order works best in abusive marriages. A man or woman undergoing abuse in a marriage can opt for an occupancy order.

An occupancy order is a court order or injunction that can help you get your abusive spouse out of the home and away from you and the children. The offended party can get the court to sanction their living in the family home with the children and ensure that the abusive spouse stays away. When you are eligible for an occupancy order, your spouse can also be imposed on by the court to meet their obligations such as maintenance of home and children.

The good thing about an occupancy order is that if you are eligible for it, you can get it without your spouse. The court considers your safety away from your abusive partner. However, you need to give evidence of your abuse and the effects on the children. If the court determines that you need protection from your spouse they give the order.

You get a copy of the occupation order for you, and another copy for your estranged spouse.The injunction comes into play immediately the abusive spouse personally receives it. However, an occupancy order can only last for a maximum of a year.You can renew the order if necessary once it expires.

DIY DIVORCE

You can also do your divorce. In such a case you have to be in agreement with your estranged spouse and willing to work amicably to be apart. A DIY divorce works well with couples that have already successfully separated for some time. Such a pair already has every detail outlined in the separation agreement. So you save money you would otherwise have to spend with lawyers coming to an agreement on property and custody.

It also works for couples that have straightforward finances or have nothing to share or have custody over. Such couples can divorce without any lawyers. However, for purposes of making sure you get everything right you should at least get a meeting with a specialist lawyer to get advice.

You will typically find discounted representation on offer when looking for online divorce documents to get your divorce done. Your goal is to ensure you cover all financial loopholes so that neither of you can come later to make any financial claims on the other. Then you get divorce papers that you fill and submit to the court.

The only loophole is that DIY divorces can go wrong and you have to then look for a lawyer to correct mistakes. So, only choose the DIY divorce option over a regular divorce if you can do it properly without errors. Start by closing any joint finances and getting separate accounts. Outline how you will handle taking care of children.

If you live together, make sure you set out the rules of occupancy where you respect each other’s boundaries. Freeze any debts and clear them. Place a freeze on home equity as well so that your spouse cannot get a second mortgage on the home as you sort things out.

These are three ways you can get away from a failed marriage without the heavy expenses of divorce or mediation.