There are several things to consider when you are contemplating divorce and you do not have any minor children. Whether you did not have any children during your marriage, or your children are all grown, your divorce process will be different. Let’s take a look at the top 5 things to know about divorcing without minor children and what expectations you should have about the process.
1. Your divorce may feel more like a business transaction.
Without the question of custody arrangements, the focus of your settlement will be dividing your assets and debts and determining if spousal support is appropriate. Divorce can be a very emotional time in your life and sometimes that can make decision making difficult. If discussing finances is not within your comfort zone, seek help from a trusted professional who can look out for your best interest and help advise you on what would be a fair settlement for your financial future.
2. Consider alternative dispute resolutions methods.
We generally encourage couples to seek alternative dispute resolution methods before moving toward litigation. When no minor children are involved, there is even more opportunity to settle out of court and quickly. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce are options available to reach an agreement on your own. Both options also allow for more creativity in your settlement which can be very advantageous.
3. The process may be faster.
The divorce process can be lengthy even in the most amicable of situations. However, you have the power to control a lot of the process if you are crafting your own settlement through mediation or collaborative divorce. This presents the opportunity to move the process along faster and get you to the next phase of your life. Without having to discuss parenting plans, you have much less to work through.
4. The process may be more economical.
You are also in a unique position to be able to keep costs minimal. The key is a willingness to be forthcoming about the family finances. If one spouse typically handles the bills and investments, it is up to them to be honest about what accounts exist, the balances in those accounts, household income and expenses, etc. If you can pull all of that information together ahead of time, it will make dividing your finances much easier. If you don’t know what information should be compiled for a mediator, financial neutral or attorney, check out our “Divorce Financial Planning Document Checklist.”
5. If you have adult children, they may still affect your settlement.
Many couples do not have minor children, but they do have college age children or young adults that they are helping to support. If that is the case, you may want to discuss expectations for continued assistance to your children, college or other education expenses, health insurance coverage, and more. You may also have assets such as 529 accounts that are for the benefit of your children. If that is the case, you will need to discuss whether one parent will remain the owner of those accounts or if you will transfer ownership to your children now that they are over 18.
Although not having minor children can simplify things substantially for your divorce, there is still a lot to consider. If you would like to discuss the above topics in more depth, call our office and request a complimentary initial consultation.