As many as 15 percent of couples who want to get divorced cannot afford to, according to a recent study. Programs like "Keep it Simple," offered by Law Office of Jim Jarvis, may be the solution for many of them.
The study, presented at the American Sociological Association, tracked nearly 8,000 people from 1979-2008, paid special attention to couples in long-term separation. Many such couples, researchers found, never transitioned from separation to divorce - even though they wanted to.
With an average cost of well beyond $10,000*, divorce in Texas is, simply put, too expensive for many to manage. "Separation may not be their first choice, but they may feel it is their best choice," said one of the study's co-authors, noting that separation "may continue to be the norm for the disadvantaged unless they can see a better alternative."
That alternative already exists.
Flat Fees Of $1,000 Or Less
Many people wish to avoid the typical, contested divorce, which carries open-ended (i.e. unknown) fees, delays and stress. They believe they could handle their own case if they had some professional advice, document preparation and guidance. The "Keep it Simple" program may be just the right thing. For a flat fee of $800.00 to $1,000.00 (plus court costs and expenses - see website for full details), they can get the job done.
In a "Keep It Simple" divorce, the spouse seeking divorce will do a great deal of the work on his or her own. For this reason, make sure the following criteria are met:
- Both spouses should be willing to cooperate
- Their financial assets should be relatively moderate
- Each spouse should be aware of their assets and debts
- The couple must be able to agree how divide their assets
- The couple must be able to agree on all matters regarding their children, including custody, child support, and health insurance.
- · Neither spouse has hired a lawyer
- · The parties have no significant history of abuse, domestic abuse, mental illness, or other complicating factors
There is a much more detailed description of Jarvis Law Office's "Keep it Simple" program at the website, www.jimjarvislaw.com
It's important to remember that, even in a consulting role such as "Keep it Simple," a law firm can only advise one party. Even though a spouse receives legal help in the "Keep It Simple" program, they ultimately represent themselves. Still, the ability to consult with an attorney is key. As many will attest, divorcing without legal support can end in disaster. Many fail to follow the required steps to finalize their divorce, or find their agreement is difficult or impossible to enforce. Others find themselves paying out thousands of dollars in unexpected fees.
Why Finalizing Your Divorce Is Important
"In every measure we had," said the divorce study's co-author, "those who remain separated are more disadvantaged than those who end up divorcing."
That is, individuals cannot afford to get divorced - but they can't afford not to, either. The emotional and financial burdens of staying married but separated can be costly. For many, the "Keep It Simple" program offers a better way.