Divorce can have some major, far-reaching impacts on one’s life.  It is a major decision that can affect both parties and other parties as well.  Effects of divorce may be seen in areas such as:

  • Property:  Depending on state laws, the couple will usually have to split marital property
  • Child Custody: If the couple had children, the divorce proceedings will usually affect custody rights as well
  • Finances:  Divorce can affect one’s bank accounts, debts, taxes, and other areas of finance
  • Employment issues:  Certain job benefits can sometimes be affected by a divorce proceeding
  • Inheritance Rights:  Divorce may affect one’s ability to inherit property.  This is especially true if the couple’s names were previously listed in a will, as joint recipients

Other proceedings can have similar effects as divorce.  For instance, in most states, property division during separation is treated much like property division in a divorce.

Can the Effects of Divorce Be Anticipated Beforehand?

Couples that have not been married for very long might not be dealing with as many issues as a couple that has been married for several decades.  Thus, the divorce process might have less far-reaching effects than in other cases.

Some jurisdictions require the parties to list major issues that might be part of the divorce trial. When the couple files for divorce, they may then be required to contemplate various the various effects of divorce.  This is especially true of major issues like child custody and property division.

One thing that might be difficult to anticipate is the effect of divorce on wills, especially if a joint will was made by the partners.  This is a specific issue that needs special consideration, because the estate of each party may have recently changed, or may be different from when the will was first made. 

What If Spouses Are Just Living Separately?

Sometimes spouses live in separate places without getting a divorce and have no intent to continue the marriage. In some states, states have laws that require the couple who seek to file a no-at fault divorce to live apart for a designated period of time before actually filing a divorce. Living separately can affect the property division. Property and debt acquired while living apart is classified differently than property received while the couple lived together. Property division also depends on the whether the state is a community property state.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With the Effects of Divorce?

Dealing with divorce can be difficult and generally requires the assistance of a qualified family law attorney.  You may need to hire a lawyer for advice and representation during the divorce process.  Your attorney will be able to help you understand how divorce laws in your area work.  Also, your lawyer will have the legal expertise which provides them with clearer foresight regarding the effects of divorce in the future.