Once the rational decision to part ways with a spouse is made, and parties are able to navigate through the unsettling feelings, the vitriol, the financial disasters, the potential for future material loss, the potential for changes to family relationships with children and the idea that a move to another place may be required, ex-spouses can step back and redesign individual goals without the strain of a failed marriage.
During the period before the absolute divorce, you may have had the pleasure of limited finances and strained living conditions as the separation period or “limited divorce” left you with shortages of money and late bills, decreased access to personal property and constant emotional fallout, but once the “absolute divorce” has been completed, the time for a new life has begun. It may start out slow with changes in independent financial matters, housing, and child visitation but there are positive outcomes after a divorce.
Since Maryland has an “equitable distribution” statute, a divorced party may end up in a better financial situation than during the course of the marriage. Maryland courts consider a variety of factors in awarding an “equitable share” of the marital estate to each party that includes the following list, leading to the possibility of better financial management.
- Both spouse’s financial needs.
- Individual and joint contributions to the estate.
- Fault causing the divorce.
- Division of debts.
- Assets from retirement benefits.
- Past and present tax responsibilities.
A pension is sometimes the most valuable marital asset next to the marital residence, and is subject to division between spouses in many situations. A Maryland court can divide one spouse’s pension between the spouses during a divorce. A pension is a marital asset if it was earned during the course of the marriage, and the division will only occur for the amount of years the marriage lasted against the years the pension was earned.
Positive financial changes.
- Budgeting will be easier without the input of another person, and buying things you need and/or want without someone shutting down your spending is another perk as you can decide your own priorities.
- A person can have early access to retirement funds, without penalties and that money may help stabilize financial fluctuations suffered during the divorce process.
- Stronger returns on investments as retirement planning is based on individual needs instead of the couple.
- Financial aid may significantly increase for children who are attending college after divorce when taxes are filed individually.
- If you were in a marriage for at least 10 years, divorced spouses may be eligible to file for Social Security spousal benefits at retirement. Ex-spouses can also qualify for widow or widower benefits if the ex-spouse died and the individuals were married at least 10 years.
Better mental and physical health.
Living within the confines of a stressful marriage can be bad for a person’s mental and physical health. Even though the divorce proceeding may temporarily increase stress and anxiety, the aftermath may result in a calmer existence allowing improved mental and physical health.
Better relationships with children.
When children live in a household where parents are at odds with each other, they do not get to experience happiness in their parents that trickles down into positive relationships with them. Once the burden of negative discourse has been removed, there may be more time to enjoy children.
More time to spend with yourself.
Since child visitation often frees up one or the other of ex-spouses, they may have time to partake in self-improvement activities.
Change in life position.
Choices for a new occupation and increased self-esteem may result in the aftermath of the divorce. Many times a divorce is the solution to a relationship that defeated one of the parties to the marriage and/or kept them from achieving their full potential.
Navigating divorce to achieve the best possible outcome for a stable life after the final divorce is easier with the help of the legal professionals at Barkley & Kennedy in Rockville Maryland.
Barkley & Kennedy, Chartered
51 Monroe Street, Suite 1407
Rockville, MD 20850