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Francesco Ciccolella for Money

For couples, self-isolation is like a test run for retirement. It's a whole lot of togetherness for partners who may not be accustomed to it -- and a moment to reflect, do I really want to spend the rest of my life with this person?

Add that to the stress and financial strain caused by the coronavirus, and experts expect to see some marriages become another casualty of the pandemic. Anecdotal evidence has shown a spike in divorces in China as couples emerge from quarantine. "It can be a game changer when you are forced to spend significantly more time with your partner, for better or worse, and this may push some couples toward separation once the pandemic is over,” says divorce lawyer and mediator Rebecca Provder of Moses & Singer.

The crisis adds a layer of urgency: "There's also a feeling of time being short and not wanting to continue an unsupportive, unhappy marriage when everyone’s situation feels dire,” says Valerie Tocci, a partner with the matrimonial law firm of Stutman Stutman & Lichtenstein.

But divorce is expensive. According to Nolo.com's research, the average cost of a divorce in the U.S. is $12,900, and it can go much higher when the case goes to trial. With a staggering 16.8 million jobs lost in just the last three weeks, many Americans are facing an abrupt loss of income that makes footing this bill a daunting prospect.

So, what happens when you want out but lack the resources? Some are turning to divorce funding, an under-the-radar option where you borrow from a private lender for divorce-related costs like attorney’s fees, forensic accountants, appraisers, and sometimes, living expenses during the interim of the divorce.

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Personal loans could help you cover your divorce costs.
Divorces can be an expensive. Consider applying for a personal loan to pay for pricey legal costs.
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Divorce funding is a loan against the ultimate divorce settlement. Think of it as an advance. This type of loan is unique in that eligibility is based on the expected divorce settlement proceeds, not current assets, income or credit score. There may be a promissory note, or a binding obligation to repay at the end of the divorce, once the marital assets are divided.

The lender determines the loan amount after taking an inventory or an assessment of the marital estate and the likely percentage of the estate that the borrower will recover, says matrimonial attorney Ken Jewell, of Jewell Law.