The differences in your marriage have become irreconcilable, so you and your spouse have decided to pursue a divorce. While very few divorces are straightforward, some are more complex than others.
Ideally, you’d like to conclude your divorce as quickly as possible, without incurring too many financial charges. What factors could increase the cost of your divorce and how are these best avoided?
You and your spouse own a family home, several cars, and some antiques and you also run a business. Your spouse never had anything to do with the business, and you’re of the opinion that it should remain solely in your hands after the separation. Unless you drafted an agreement before the divorce, this could be difficult for you to argue.
Ultimately, if you and your spouse can’t agree on how valuable assets are to be distributed, then this will have to be litigated in the courts. The courts in Virginia will divide property based on the equitable distribution doctrine. This means that assets will be divided based on what is fair to all parties. Property distribution can take time to settle, and the longer your divorce goes on, the more money you’ll have to spend.
Hopefully, you and your spouse can put marital differences aside while coming up with a custody arrangement for the children. If this is not feasible, then custody will have to be litigated and the courts will ultimately decide based on the best interests of the child. During a custody dispute, witnesses may have to be brought in and the court might not be able to come up with a ruling straight away. Again, as with property division, a litigated custody dispute can take a long time to settle, and it will only cost you more the longer it goes on.
To make your divorce more efficient, you may want to consider obtaining legal guidance. This will give you a concise plan moving forward and could ultimately help keep the cost of your divorce down.