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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

Women need to be prepared for the realities of divorce

Emotions run high in many divorces and that is understandable. But divorce legal issues can have a greater and longer-lasting impact on the lives of the parties than the turmoil of the actual break-up. Of course, each situation is unique, but often, California women fill the role of the primary caregiver for the children and either work part-time or not at all. This situation can lead to women, who typically understand the issues to be resolved before the divorce can be final, not fully grasping the bottom line economic realities.

Property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support or alimony, if appropriate, along with the impact any pre-nuptial agreement the couple entered into are complex matters. According to financial planners, the first issue a woman may be surprised about is the cost of quality legal representation. Each party bears the cost of their own legal team, and the decision regarding counsel is critical in ensuring the individual has adequate resources post-divorce.

The lawyer can further explain that based on the circumstances, the amount of child support and alimony may not be enough to continue on with the status quo of life as it was. The marital house may need to be sold or the ex-husband may be awarded it in the settlement, and the woman may well have to return to the workforce in order to make ends meet. Other realities may revolve around how involved the wife was in the ongoing finances during the marriage. Items such as the cost of health insurance or how much debt the couple has accumulated can be expensive surprises.

Life may not always work out as anticipated, but it's important to be proactive, aware and plan for what is one's own best interests. An experienced family law attorney can provide guidance when marital dissolution becomes inevitable.

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