Getting divorced is one of the biggest stresses you can go through in your life, and no matter how calm the process is, and on how good terms you may be with your soon-to-be ex-partner, it is still difficult. Everyone who’s ever gone through the process suggests that they just wanted to get everything over with and just forget about this complex chapter in their life. More often than not, divorces are messy, they take a long time, and they are just extremely overwhelming for everyone included in them. If you are going through it currently, you probably know how hard it is, and you are probably just trying to get it done right away.
When we rush things, we usually make mistakes, and those mistakes can cost us a lot in the long run. To help you out, we’ve created this guide, and here, we are going to list some of the most common financial mistakes most people make in a divorce settlement. Keep on reading to find out how to protect your assets and how to avoid making a wrong move during this challenging time.
Refusing to try mediation
Many couples that are going through a divorce think that they don’t need arbitration or mediation and that they can get things done on their own. Even though this is possible in some rare cases, more often than not, you cannot handle everything on your own. There are going to be things where you would need extra help, and the professionals know how to handle even the most demanding parts of the legal separation.
Note that with this process both of you will be able to handle your part privately, you will gain more control over the outcome, and you will be informed about each step. Don’t leave everything up for the judge, and know that public hearings are much messier.
Forgetting about hidden assets
Another big mistake that could cost you a lot are hidden assets. Unfortunately, our partners may not be as honest with us as we think they are, and they may have some cash or property hidden in an offshore account, or they can hide those things by transferring them to other family members.
You definitely don’t want to get less than you deserve, so you want to know about this possibility before the divorce is finalized. There are different ways that you can find this information out, and the easiest one is to get a forensic lawyer or accountant that will help you get all the data needed.
Choosing to do the process alone
Too many people are doing this mistake, and they think that they don’t need an attorney and that they can represent themselves if needed. Trying to handle a legal separation on your own is close to impossible, especially if you don’t have any experience with practicing law or finances.
On websites like matrimonialhome.com, you can see that a legal advisor can help you not only with the settlement but also every other part of your separation that is going to play a huge role in the long run.
You won’t have to worry about missing out on things, and you will not regret this choice years in the future. On the other hand, if you choose to do things alone, that will have long-term consequences.
Trying to get things over with as soon as possible
No matter what you do, rushing is never a good idea. As we previously mentioned, we all want to get the separation over with, and we don’t want to keep being married to a person we no longer want any connection with. However, rushing and trying to get things over with as soon as possible will lead to nothing good, and you are bound to make financial mistakes if you try and do this.
You should always take your time, see if there are any hidden assets, evaluate the financial state of both parties, and you should plan for the future. You cannot do this if you just want to sign the documents and get it over with. You will definitely lose a lot of money if you try and speed things up.
Forgetting about retirement assets
When we are young, we tend to forget that we will need to be financially covered in the future, when we stop working and when we retire. Many couples have joint retirement assets and when they choose to get legally separated, they forget that when this asset is divided, it is never 50-50.
You need to be aware of what you are getting and how that is going to affect you in the future. You need to be able to fairly divide the accounts and avoid ending up with a terrible plan that will affect you when you need to retire.
Not planning for long-term child support
If you have children together with your soon-to-be ex-partner, then you already know how much this complicates the whole process. You need to be thinking about their wellbeing as well, and you cannot just rely on the things that you want or need.
You need to ensure that your children are going to get the necessary financial support in the long term, and you cannot just think about their current needs depending on their age. Many parents of young kids or babies focus just on the things that the child currently needs, but remember that as they grow up, they will need bigger financial support. So, you should talk to your attorney, and estimate what would be a fair amount of child support. Make sure that you calculate even the expenses that we don’t plan for, including medical, extracurricular expenses, and of course, the finances that you would need to put your children through a good educational process.
These are just some of the things that will affect your finances after you finish the legal separation process. Don’t let the current emotions you have to affect your judgment, and don’t forget that no matter how stable or unaffected you think you are, you cannot think clearly without the help of an attorney. Professionals can help you out throughout the whole process, and they will be there for you to ensure that you don’t end up scammed. You don’t want to look back and regret not only the marriage that you had but also the divorce.