24 Nov Three Big Financial Mistakes Made During a Divorce
Divorce is never easy. Besides the emotional struggles that can sometimes seem overwhelming, the financial worries just keep piling up. In all of the stress and confusion, it’s very easy to make easily overlooked mistakes that compound into colossal mistakes that end up costing a small fortune. There are three commonly-made mistakes that end up being very costly during the divorce and for years afterwards. Overlooking assets, not fighting for everything you deserve and not seeking legal advice seem like small oversights, but they are big money mistakes.
Florida is an equitable division state when it comes to divorce, which means that if the two parties can’t reach a settlement when it comes to dividing up property, the court will step in and divide them in a manner that they deem as fair. There are several factors that the court will take into account when dividing property including length of marriage, economic circumstance, opportunity, financial contribution to the marriage, and liabilities. All the assets of the marriage will be taken into account and divvied up in this manner, so it’s crucial not to forget anything. If you can reach a settlement, it’s still imperative to account for everything. Having tax returns, bills, investments, and any other relevant records ready to go is crucial to getting a good view of your assets.
Making an inventory of everything you own that is valuable is also a good idea. Don’t just count the big stuff like real estate, but think about the little things like collectibles and furniture, which can also end up mattering a lot. In the case of valuable jointly shared assets that are harder to divide, such as a business or stock options, a professional valuation expert may be needed. Experts are costly so they should only be called on when necessary. Keeping track of debt is also important, as you could still wind up having to pay joint debts after the divorce goes through. If you overlook any assets, you could end up missing out on your fair share of your property.
Not Fighting for Everything you Deserve
This may seem like a no-brainer, but with all of the emotions of a divorce it’s very easy to just not fight as hard as you should. You might feel the need to go easy on your ex, either from guilt or even memories of the good times. And while you might have delusions of doing the right thing, you’re only setting up more trouble down the line with more feelings of resentment, not to mention the financial burden of getting less than your share. Even doing nothing can be the same as giving up. It is necessary to speak up for what you want and deserve.
The converse is also true. Seeking revenge will end up costing you more in the long run. Not only will you likely go through experts of all kinds to get a clear plan of attack costing you a lot in the short term, but the money you spend on the divorce is money that can’t be split after the divorce doubling down on your losses. Striking an amicable deal can be far better than burning out seeking merely to hurt your ex. Often, guilt makes us bad negotiators so don’t make any assumptions that your ex-spouse has changed or has your best interests at heart. Even if they are trying to do right by you, they may have facts wrong, or even claim to have less than they do. Always speak up for everything that you deserve in the divorce, even though it can be difficult.
Not Seeking Legal Advice
It may seem easiest, fastest, and cheapest to just do the divorce yourself. However, without legal advice it is so easy to fall into all the mistakes, and you can make. As mentioned above, emotions can cloud your judgment and make you a poor negotiator. Having someone to argue on your side without being swayed by an emotional history can be extremely beneficial. Even before the divorce proceedings begin its great to seek advice to explore all of your options, and even can explain all the potential hazards, you’ll face on the road ahead. If you have legal counsel, they advise you at every step of the way always making sure that your interests are being represented properly. Getting legal advice might seem expensive or a waste of time, but they make up for their costs by helping you get all that you need from the divorce.