How can collaborative divorce help you financially?

When you and your spouse decide to divorce, there are many concerns that arise. Many of these are financial in nature: child support, asset division, spousal support, etc. 

Like many couples, you and your spouse may be looking for ways to save money during your divorce. U.S. News and World Report explains the potential financial benefits of a collaborative process. 

1. You retain control 

When you litigate your divorce, you put your fate in the hands of the judge, who will have only a few hours to hear your case. It is unlikely that this will be enough time to gain a complete understanding of your situation. The judge certainly will not gain the depth of understanding that you and your spouse already possess. Collaborative divorce allows you and your spouse to negotiate a plan that works for both of you based on your existing knowledge of your situation. 

2. You save on attorney’s fees 

It costs far more to litigate a divorce than it does to negotiate it collaboratively. There are several reasons for this, one of which is that collaborative divorce takes less time than you would spend going to court. If one of your primary concerns about the divorce is how much it will cost, that is a major reason to consider collaborative divorce over the traditional process. 

3. You gain a greater understanding of your finances 

An adversarial divorce process can drain your emotions and energy. To put a stop to it, you may agree to less than what you deserve. Because the collaborative process is non-adversarial, you may feel more comfortable standing up for your rights. 

How should you handle health insurance during divorce?

While you and your current spouse agreed to a collaborative divorce, you must still protect yourself for the next chapter of your life. For instance, you need health coverage no matter your marital status.

If you relied on your soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s health care plan, learn how to continue receiving coverage with help from WebMD. Use these tips to give yourself one less thing to worry about.

Look into COBRA

You may know about the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, but did you know it applies to divorcing spouses? If your current spouse’s employer has at least 20 employees and a company health insurance plan, you can remain on your spouse’s plan for 36 months. That said, you bear responsibility for paying all monthly premiums. Talk to your spouse’s employer so you know how much you can expect to pay each month, a conversation to have within 60 days of your divorce.

A second option is to see if your employer offers a health insurance plan that offers the same coverage as what you have now at a price you can afford. Ask an HR representative if this is an option and if enrollment remains open. Even if you missed the enrollment deadline, getting a divorce could qualify as an exception.

Consider adding insurance to the divorce settlement

A second option is including health coverage as part of the divorce settlement. Because you want your divorce to remain collaborative, ask your current spouse how she or he feels about including health coverage payments in the divorce settlement. Even if she or he only agrees to pay a portion, that could suit your new budget.

Maintaining your physical and mental health is essential during a divorce. Take steps to ensure you have coverage after concluding all divorce proceedings.

How can social media ruin your collaborative divorce?

You opted for a collaborative divorce. This process helps couples move forward through the process under Florida law while reducing common squabbles.

Because you are trying to stay out of divorce court, you may want to avoid social media. While this online community tool is helpful when it comes to staying in touch and relevant with friends and family, it may also cause unintended consequences during your divorce case.

A private post could spark a court battle

Once you put something out onto the internet, it tends to stay there. In the case of social media, even if you delete a post you later determine is risky, there is a good chance someone saw it. It only takes a few seconds for someone to screenshot or save a post that may make you look bad.

You may start down the path of collaborative divorce, but wind up heading to court instead if your ex sees posts that create conflict.

It may give your ex the upper hand in court

Not only might you give your spouse a reason to go to court, but your posts could also turn into evidence that hurts your case. The court can use anything you post online to decide for or against your requests during a divorce.

Florida courts, like those around the country, want to do what is best for children. Parental conflict is never in a child’s best interests, and if you badmouth your ex online, a judge may determine that you are not likely to foster a positive relationship between your children and their other parent.

You could also damage your chances if you post a picture that makes you look less than responsible, such as one where you and others are drinking while in the presence of your children. Your ex could present this as evidence and argue that you have a substance abuse problem.

The best way to avoid providing your ex with reasons to take you to court is to stay off social media entirely during your divorce.