Divorce and Death: A Comparison

By March 24, 2020Divorce

Each Path Has Its Difficulties

It’s said that divorce is worse than death. But grief isn’t meant to be a contest. Still, we ask: Who suffers more, the widow or the divorcee? What are the differences? How are they similar? Life after the loss of a spouse is forever changed. Whether the result of illness or sudden accident or maybe an affair or abandonment, you now find yourself “alone.” Neither path is easy.

  • Loved ones on both sides come together to support a surviving spouse. No one takes sides. No one says, “I never really liked him anyway,” following a death. It’s different from divorce. People take sides. Animosity is rampant. Few divorcees have refrigerators groaning with casseroles meant to ease the pain.
  • With death, there is rarely a question regarding custody of the kids. The children don’t feel like they are being “divided” like property. They are free to remain loyal to both parents. Children of divorce feel disloyal when they love the other parent. Half their very being no longer seems “acceptable.”
  • With death, the property is not divided. In a divorce, everything from the pool table to the lamps is up for grabs.
  • In a divorce, memories are tainted. Was it all a lie? Death leaves you able to cherish your memories intact. That song will, in time, stop triggering feelings of grief and bring nostalgia. In the wake of a cheating spouse, the opening bars of “your” song can reduce you to bitter tears indefinitely. With a death, recalling places you went and things you did together, will eventually soften and you can recall them with a fondness often lacking in divorce.
  • Divorce carries a stigma. When you say, “I’m divorced,” you can almost see the wheels turning. “Whose fault was it?” But with a death, people think, “How sad! What happened?” The answer is usually less complicated and met more sympathetically than when the answer has to do with divorce.
  • Death causes financial difficulty. Hospital bills, funeral expenses, and loss of income can sometimes be offset by health insurance, life insurance, and assistance from loved ones. With a divorce, considerations like loss of income, an additional household, child support, alimony, etc. create serious hardship.
  • Death carries obligations when dealing with wills or probate court. Disputes between heirs, insurance settlements, etc. With a divorce, the legalities can go far beyond the dissolution of the marriage and division of assets. Child custody, child support, alimony, the assignment of marital debt, even settling where the pets should live must be discussed.

Getting Help with Your Utah Divorce Case If you are looking into a divorce and have questions or need legal help, we’re here for you. We understand the struggles unique to a divorcing couple. As you go through this difficult time, a competent family law attorney can help ease you through the process as you create your new life.  At CoilLaw, LLC, Salt Lake City Divorce attorney Jill Coil knows how to advise you during a divorce to help you achieve the best settlement and/or result possible.

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