There really is no such thing as a free divorce in Florida or any other state. There are always hidden costs that pop up. Some of these involve dividing your retirement accounts, getting new health insurance and transferring real estate. The key to negotiating these costs is to be aware of them before you file for your divorce.
Resolving your health insurance issues
Getting new health insurance is of the potential hidden costs that divorce may involve. You may previously have been covered under a health plan that was created by your spouse’s employer. If this is the case, you may need to procure a completely new plan. This can involve paying for premiums, deductibles and a host of other unforeseen expenses.
Dividing your retirement accounts
Dividing up retirement accounts can be one of the most contentious aspects of a financial settlement after you divorce. You will need to obtain a document known as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to begin the process.
A QDRO is a document that determines how your retirement assets should be divided. A separate document may be needed for each plan that may be involved, and preparing these documents can be a lengthy and costly process. You can expect to invest $1,000 for each one that may be required. This cost must be weighed against your potential gain from each plan.
Transferring your real estate
You may wish to buy out your spouse’s share of all real estate that you hold in common. However, there may be unexpected costs involved. These can include closing costs, transfer taxes and other fees. You may need to refinance your mortgage if you receive a transfer of property from your spouse.
The key to negotiating these costs is to be aware of them well in advance. This can allow you to plan together for a division of assets that will satisfy the future needs of both parties.