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Will I be able to maintain my lifestyle after a divorce?

Unless they have divorced before, Minnesota residents rarely know what to expect during the divorce process. Television shows paint an unrealistic picture of divorce. Couples may think they simply meet with their lawyers a few times, go to court and life returns to normal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Divorce is a major decision that costs a significant amount of money and time. As such, it's unrealistic to assume that your lifestyle won't change after a divorce.

Even in a high asset divorce, both spouses don't live separate lives as millionaires once the divorce is finalized. Divorces are costly, especially if there is no prenuptial agreement in place. A couple may argue over every little thing, dragging the divorce on and on and costing millions in lawyer fees. Plus, it's important to understand that it costs less to support one household than it does to support two separate ones.

If you live in a middle class household or were struggling financially before the divorce, a divorce definitely won't make you rich. With the average divorce costing $15,000, many people must use credit cards, borrow money from family members or even file for bankruptcy in order to end the marriage. If anything, a divorce can put you in debt for many years, so make sure it's the right decision for you before you pull the plug on your marriage.

Divorce is often glamorized in the media, but the truth is that many people struggle emotionally and financially after a divorce. If you've never worked while married, you'll likely have to join the workforce after a divorce in order to make ends meet. Don't expect your ex-spouse to take care of you. Alimony is no longer the standard in a divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is Divorce Good For?," accessed July 25, 2015

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