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New Harvard Study Shows Impact Of Divorce On Low-Income Families


Divorce attorneys often advertise our services to “high-income” couples. In truth, these are exactly the clients we want because they have the most elaborate estates. Our job is to ensure the equitable distribution of the marital estate. This requires appraisals, accounting, and inside expert knowledge. The more complicated the estate, the more costly the divorce, and the more money we can make for ourselves.

What is the average cost of divorce in the United States? It runs about $12,000 and the vast majority of that sum is related to attorney’s fees. While $12,000 might be a drop in the bucket to some, the poorest families in America will only have $12,000 in income a year, meaning that it will take an entire year’s salary to pay for their average divorce.

Now, it’s true that the costs of divorce go down the smaller your marital estate. Low-income families may only have one major asset or none at all. This leaves divorce attorneys with little to do save for filing paperwork. Nonetheless, the costs of this expert counsel remain high.

Divorce without a lawyer 

The situation leaves some low-income families wondering if they can file for divorce without an attorney. While the answer is yes, the divorce system remains so complex that very few can navigate the process without at least some help. That means tat most folks will not be able to break out a copy of TurboTax to create a ledger that operates as a binding decree.

Even when someone has enough tenacity to figure out all the finances and file the paperwork, they probably don’t realize that there are two courts that they will be arguing in. For low-income married couples with small children, they will need to file paperwork in both Family Court and Dependency Court, which will rule on who gets to keep the children and enforce a visitation schedule.

Cheap divorces, no-court divorce, and more 

For those who have few assets in their marital estate, cheaper divorces are possible. However, issues related to custody will remain costly. In cases where the couple has no children, agree on all aspects of the divorce settlement, and have lived in the State of Florida for at least six months, the couple can pursue the cheapest possible divorce. However, if there are children in the marriage, then the court will need to render a decision on custody. Additionally, this option is not for those who have substantial marital estates or are worried about support over the long haul. Essentially, an attorney will discuss the matter with you and your spouse, draw up some paperwork to express your wishes to untie the knot and the terms of your divorce, and then file it with the court. But low-income couples with children are essentially priced out of these services leaving many unable to shoulder the burden themselves.

Talk to a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney Today

 Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates represent the interests of spouses seeking divorce. Call our West Palm Beach divorce attorneys today to discuss your situation with a skilled attorney and we can get the ball rolling on the next chapter of your life.


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