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Can you avoid these common money mistakes in divorce?

Getting divorced is difficult for many reasons. Chief among these is the fact that you need to engage in what are essentially business negotiations during a period of great emotional strain. No one is at their best when they are mourning the end of their marriage.

Unfortunately, these strong emotions cause many divorcees to make unwise money decisions regarding property division and alimony. In today's post, we'll discuss some of these common money mistakes in hopes that readers may be able to avoid them.

These mistakes can be roughly divided into two categories. The first list is procedural/preparation mistakes that could make it harder to reach a fair settlement in the first place. These include:

  • Failing to get your house appraised and your assets valued
  • Failing to gather all your relevant financial documents
  • Failing to insist that you receive copies of your spouse's documents
  • Not taking the time to truly understand your current financial situation
  • Agreeing to settlement terms that are unfair simply because you want to "get it over with"

The other list of mistakes is related to specific terms in your divorce settlement or spousal support agreement. These include:

  • Failing to account for how taxes might impact your divorce settlement
  • Failing to accurately budget for your financial needs after the divorce (short-term and long-term)
  • Failing to consider insurance needs now and in the future
  • Pushing for settlement provisions that put your children's desires ahead of your needs (continuing to pay for private school, for example)

The good news is that many of the financial mistakes we make during divorce are preventable. Perhaps the best way to do this is to find an attorney you can trust and seek their input as often as necessary.

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Stanley A. Kweller, Attorney at Law
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