Unless you have had a previous divorce, ending your marriage is a new and painful experience, and you are probably dreading the property division process.
If you can set your emotions aside and think of your divorce as a business decision, the process will go more smoothly. As you prepare for the property division phase, here are five mistakes to avoid.
- Being overly agreeable
You no doubt want the divorce to be over as quickly as possible, but do not make the mistake of agreeing to anything in hopes of hastening the process. Remember that your financial future is at stake. You want a fair settlement, so take your time.
- Failing to disclose all financial information
You will fill out a financial affidavit, which must have current, accurate information. Take care in completing the affidavit and make sure you list all your assets and debts. Otherwise, you might give up assets you should keep or retain liabilities that should actually belong to the other party.
- Forgetting about tax consequences
Remember that there may be taxes associated with the assets the judge awards you. If you are to receive alimony, make sure you understand how much you can expect after taxes.
- Avoiding an investigation
If there are significant assets, your spouse may have hidden some away, conveniently forgotten one or two that should be out on the table. Some spouses used to being in control of the marital finances may refuse to release financial information until forced to do so. Even if you think your spouse would never be so dishonest, invest in the services of a forensic accountant at the outset. Hidden assets in a divorce are not uncommon.
- Listening to your friends
Your friends who have experienced divorces of their own may feel it is their obligation to counsel you on yours. They may have the best intentions but remember that your divorce is unique, and they are not professionals with an understanding of how the law affects your case.