The Top Mistakes Divorcing Spouses Make
Divorce is a difficult, time-consuming, and stressful process. Combined with the fact that most people going through divorce are doing so for the first time, many spouses make crucial errors that affect their ability to best protect their own interests and rights. The following includes the top mistakes divorcing spouses and ones that you should aim to avoid..
- Letting “My Spouse Did All That Stuff” Cripple Your Financial Position
In many households, one spouse tends to handle all or most of the financial decisions. But if you are divorcing from your spouse and have no information regarding your finances, your spouse will be at an advantage when it comes to the settlement of financial issues.
- Dismissing the Mediation Option
Some divorcing couples dismiss mediation as an option for settling a divorce because they believe it will lead to an unworkable stalemate, will result in the favoring of one spouse over the other, or simply because they just don’t understand the process. But mediation can be a valuable time - and money - saver for some couples, and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.
- Allowing Emotions Guide Your Choices
It is easy to get emotional about assets in divorce. The marital home, artwork, pets, vehicles, and even furniture can trigger feelings of personal attachment that spouses might not even know they had. But big-ticket assets can be extremely difficult to maintain on a single salary, and emotional responses can get in the way of making smart choices that benefit both spouses.
- Forgetting to Change Estate Documents
Estate documents are often formed just after marriage, so if divorce takes place years afterward, it may be easy to forget to change them. But if that happens, a spouse’s life insurance policies, IRAs, and property may end up in the hands of his or her ex-spouse, when he or she actually would have preferred children or a new spouse to be beneficiaries.
- Failing to Insure Your Settlement
Many divorcees are surprised to learn that divorce settlements are insurable. In the event your ex-spouse passes away prematurely or becomes permanently disabled, you may suddenly lose alimony or child support payments on which you were previously relying. Insuring your settlement can help mitigate the damage in this instance.
- Ignoring the Long-Term Financial Implications
Receiving the marital home or shared investments may seem like your goal, but doing so may have unintended consequences. For instance, you may be able to pay your children’s college tuition now, but after 15 years of inflation, you may be responsible for more than you can afford. Getting the house may save you from having to invest time and money in a new apartment, but being on the hook for those property taxes on only your salary may render you unable to pay.
- Hiring the Wrong Attorney
Hiring an attorney to assist you in the divorce process is nearly always a good idea. But attorneys that are overaggressive, too eager to placate or compromise, or utilize unethical methods will cause more harm than good. In a divorce attorney, you will be best served by counsel that is experienced, responsible, and respects your time, resources, and wishes. If you are navigating divorce and separation issues, consider contacting Schwartz l White in Boca Raton at 561-391-9943 today for a consultation to protect your rights and interests in divorce.