Getting Divorced? What You Need To Know
VENDING machines, self-checkout lanes, and even the ability to order a Big Mac from your phone are all examples of technology that has fundamentally changed the way we eat. As a result, the prevalence of fast-food restaurants has also increased.
However, while convenience is an obvious factor in why so many people choose fast food over home-cooked meals, there are also other reasons behind it. Financial reasons are one of them – especially in light of the rising cost of living, increasing taxes and housing prices, and stagnant wages.
In fact, a study by Business Insider found that more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. So when it comes time to get divorced and divide up your assets… you guessed it: It’s cheaper to eat fast food than hire an attorney!
How Divorce Works
Divorce is the legal process by which a married couple ends their marriage. After a divorce, two people who were once married become two single people again. The first thing to understand is that there are two types of divorce.
There is a “no-fault” divorce, also known as a “simple” divorce. There is also a “fault” divorce, known as a “contested” divorce. In a no-fault divorce, the state does not get involved.
In a fault divorce, the state does get involved, and the spouse who files for divorce must provide evidence that the other spouse is at fault. In a no-fault divorce, the couple can agree on how to settle their assets, how to settle spousal support, and how to settle custody of the children.
In a contested divorce, each spouse hires an attorney and the state mediator decides how to settle the assets and custody issues.
Division Of Assets
When a couple’s assets are divided, each person is given an amount of money that is proportional to what they contributed to the relationship. In most cases, the division of assets is equitable distribution.
This means that both partners walk away with something that is fair, even if it is not equal. For example, one partner might get the house and the other might get the retirement savings. Divorce and the division of assets are expensive.
The average cost of a contested divorce is $50,000. The average cost of a no-fault divorce is $15,000. On average, divorced people pay an extra $75,000 in taxes per person, thanks to the loss of tax breaks associated with marriage.
Dividing assets also takes time. Depending on the state, divorces can take anywhere from a few months to several years. The average time it takes to complete a divorce is 16 months.
Reasons For Fast Food After Divorce
– Financial Constraints: The emotional toll of a divorce can be devastating. On top of that, the added financial burden of hiring a lawyer can be overwhelming. The Center for American Progress found that the average cost of a contested divorce is $30,000.
Eating out is cheaper than eating at home, and for many, fast food is the only affordable, quick option that is also nutritious.
– Lack of Childcare: Raising children is expensive. Add in divorce, and the cost becomes more than some couples can handle. It is estimated that 60% of divorced families with children have a single parent.
The average cost of raising a child is $245,000. The cost of childcare can quickly eat up the financial gains from a divorce. At an average cost of $9,100 per year, childcare can be more expensive than college.
– Loss of Cooking Skills: For many people, cooking is therapeutic. When someone becomes divorced, they may no longer have the time or desire to cook.
Some people may have gained weight during the marriage and may need to lose weight after the divorce. This may be a reason to consider fast food over home cooking.
Advantages Of Fast Food After Divorce
– Convenience: Fast food is convenient. You can order ahead, drive through, or pick up your food at the drive-through. There is no need to shop for ingredients or clean dishes after cooking.
– Protein: Many fast food restaurants offer protein options, including salads and rice bowls. Protein is an important part of a healthy diet and can help with weight loss.
– Nutritional Value: On average, fast food is cheaper than healthy home-cooked meals. This means that people on a budget can afford to purchase healthier options at fast-food restaurants. Fast food is easy to fit into a busy schedule. People who are time-constrained may not have time to prepare a balanced, nutritious meal.
– Healthier Option: While not all fast food is healthy, there are some healthier options on the menu. Many restaurants provide nutritional information so that you can decide what is best for you.
Disadvantages Of Fast Food After Divorce
– Nutritional Value: While most fast food restaurants offer some healthy options, the majority of their menu is high in sodium, sugar, and fat. This can lead to weight gain and poor dietary choices.
– Cost: Eating out is more expensive than cooking at home. This means that eating out more often can quickly add up. It can be cheaper to purchase a meal plan at a local university than it is to eat at fast food restaurants on a regular basis.
– Preparation Time: While most fast food restaurants offer nutritional information and healthy option choices, they are not fresh, homemade meals. This means that you do not know exactly what you are eating.
– Cleanliness: The cleanliness of restaurants is regulated by the health department. However, they are not regulated by the food and drug administration (FDA). This means that restaurants are not required to list all of the ingredients in their food.
Eating fast food after a divorce can be a smart financial decision. However, it is important to be mindful of what you are consuming. It is easy to fall into a fast food rut after a divorce.
To prevent this from happening, you can try a few things. First, you can use a calorie tracker to make sure that you are consuming a balanced diet. Next, you can try reorganizing your schedule to include more time to cook.
With these tips, you can make sure that you are eating well, even when you are eating fast!