Every marriage and divorce have their unique set of circumstances, but there are some common mistakes that couples make that cost them money and undue stress. These are just some pitfalls that should be avoided if you want to have a smooth separation from your spouse and a happily ever after without all the drama.
- Emotional decisions – Untying the knot is never easy and rarely is it without grief, anger or resentment. It’s wise, however, to separate your emotions from your negotiations for the best possible outcome in your divorce.
- Inaccurate or incomplete financial records – You’ll need to show your attorney where the money is if you want to ensure a fair division of property and finances. Your alimony or child support is based on full financial disclosure so don’t short-change yourself and your children by missing important financial records. Also, whatever you do, don’t hide money or take out large sums from the bank account because if you are caught it will be an expensive mistake.
- Using children as pawns – Custody battles over children can wind up hurting them more than helping them. Do what is in the best interests of your children and don’t make decisions based on getting back at your spouse for hurting you. The courts will always do what’s in the children’s best interests so it’s important that you are honest and that you present the facts as fairly as possible. Here’s another tip, don’t ask your kids to deliver messages to your spouse. You are adults and you don’t want to put them in the middle.
- Dredging up the past – You don’t have to forget the past, but most of the time it’s best to focus on the future and move forward. Utilize counseling if you have trouble getting over your spouse’s wrongdoings because the courts will respond more favorably to couples who act sensibly than those who keep pouring gasoline on the flames. Take the high road and don’t intentionally hurt your former spouse.
- Not considering taxes – It’s a wise decision to work with an accountant or financial advisor to determine the best money moves to minimize taxes. It won’t help you to claim your spouse handled all the finances because you are both on the hook for financial decisions.
- My way or the highway — Compromising will get you further than digging in your heels when it comes to most divorce battles. It will also mean lower attorney fees. Give up something and maybe your spouse will do the same. The quicker you resolve disputes, the better it is for both sides.
- Removing spouse from health insurance coverage – This can be an expensive mistake. Especially if your spouse has any serious medical condition. Plus, you may have to pay for your spouse’s medical expenses out of pocket. There’s also no going back onto the policy once they are removed. Just don’t do it.
- Digital doomsday – Those drunken flings with friends that you posted on Facebook or other digital messages through email or texting, could come back to haunt you during divorce negotiations. A spouse may use images or texts and emails against you to prove that you are unstable and limit your access to the children.
- Stupid parenting decisions – Judges will alter your visitation if they are shown evidence that you are not living up to your parenting commitment. Working extended hours, failing to care for your children or falling back into drug or alcohol dependence may result in a change to your visitation or child custody arrangements.
- Cost-benefit analysis – A divorce can be costly in many ways, but one place you don’t want to waste money is on legal fees. You may love that waffle maker aunt Helen gave you both for your wedding, but is it worth spending two hours of legal fees to fight for it?
Mistakes Don’t Have Happen
These are just some of the potential problems couples navigate during a divorce and it’s by no means inclusive of all the issues divorcing couples face.
To avoid costly mistakes during your divorce, educate yourself and arm yourself with an experienced divorce team who can provide you with professional guidance and help you avoid wasting money and time. Contact Johnson Attorneys Group at 800-235-6801 to request a free case evaluation.