For a young couple that just got married the year before and found out that it was a mistake, getting a divorce may seem fairly straightforward and simple. When they got married, they combined their assets and income. They moved into an apartment together. To get divorced, they just have to move to separate living spaces, split their assets back up and go their separate ways. 

So what is it that makes divorce so complicated? The truth is that many couples spend months getting divorced. For some, it takes years. This is not the easy process described above. Why not?

There are a few reasons. First and foremost, whether or not they have children plays a massive role. A couple with children has a whole new set of questions to ask about who gets to care for the kids, what type of schedule they’ll use, what rights they have and much more. 

Another thing is the number of assets they have acquired. It’s easy to move out of an apartment and split up your bank account, but what if you own a business together? What if you have a $500,000 home? What if you own cars and vacation homes and art collections? The more you have, and the more it’s worth, the harder this gets. 

The length of the marriage also plays a role. The longer a couple is together, the more intertwined their lives become. That can make it harder to backtrack and disconnect those lives again — a problem the younger couple just doesn’t have. 

If you do find yourself involved in a complicated divorce involving children and/or a lot of high-value assets, make sure you are well aware of the steps you need to take