There are many things children of divorce are not supposed to think about or question. One of them is how their inheritances get funneled in different directions during and after a divorce. In an intact family, the marital assets usually become the children’s inheritance at the appropriate time. In a divorce, the marital assets usually become diverted in other directions. I am aware of two ways this can happen.
1) The divorce industry. The divorce industry thrives on siphoning marital assets in order to legally separate spouses from each other. Here is a list of common expenses that occur during and after a divorce:
- The total cost of the attorney’s fees. Rates can go up to $475/hr. according to LegalZoom.com.
- Court costs
- Costs for parent education classes
- Mediation costs
- Refinancing costs
- Record deed fees
- Mandated psychological evaluation and counseling costs
- Interest on credit cards (parents were often struggling financially after the divorce, much more so than before it)
- The cost of operating two homes vs one home
2) Remarriage after divorce. Another thing to consider is when one or both parents remarry. A new step-parent might have a legal claim on assets that were acquired during the former marriage. This claim can rise above the children’s claim depending on the state and/or if certain actions were not taken ahead of time to prevent this from happening. If or when the child’s parent dies, those assets can flow to the step-parent and the step-parent might not have any legal obligation to make sure the deceased spouse’s children receive those assets.
During and after divorce, marital assets no longer flow intact to the next generation. This another long term ramification of divorce.