As you divide your assets and come up with the terms of your custody and support arrangements, making the wrong move can cost you dearly – in time, money, and/or legal trouble. No matter the divorce approach you and your spouse are taking, avoid making the eight mistakes below.
Mistake #1: Thinking you need to hire an expensive attorney and go to court.
Every couple is different, and as such, there are many options for divorcing spouses. Not every divorce needs to go to court. In fact, many couples have successfully elected to take a collaborative divorce approach or to divide their assets with the help of a mediator. It all depends on your individual needs, assets and debts, your existing relationship with your spouse, and your goals for the future. The best idea is to speak with an experienced law firm to learn about your options.
Mistake #2: Hiding assets or showing inaccurate financial information.
You can get into a lot of trouble for making this mistake. Honesty is the best policy from day one; even if you’re worried you might not get to keep something very meaningful to you, you must produce accurate information and put all your assets on the table when asked for them.
Mistake #3: Letting emotions dictate your decisions.
This is one of the biggest reasons we at Bort Law practice in collaborative divorce and mediation and often suggest a mindful divorce approach. Acting vindictively, playing the blame game, or being driven by your emotions may seem to be immediately gratifying, but doing so will hurt you and your children in the long run. It’s best to look at the entire situation as objectively as possible, so you can reach an efficient and durable divorce agreement.
Mistake #4: Not considering your kids’ needs.
If you have children, their needs are likely your #1 priority through your divorce. They are probably feeling new emotions about your divorce and may be having difficulty handling them. It’s up to you and your spouse to help them through these challenges. As you work through custody and support arrangements, be sure to negotiate decisions that put their best interest first.
Mistake #5: Overlooking tax implications from your divorce.
Changes to your taxes will result from alimony and child support as well as new arrangements regarding ownership of real estate and other property. Be sure to talk to an expert before tax season, so you know what to expect.
Mistake #6: Forgetting to update your beneficiary information.
After you’re divorced, you likely won’t want your ex to receive your life insurance money or other benefits. Make these changes while they’re top of mind.
The goal in any divorce is to reach an efficient and successful legal agreement that meets your goals for the future. By acting in good faith and avoiding these mistakes, you’ll save yourself a great deal of time, money, and energy during your divorce. Feel free to call Bort Law with any questions.