6 Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce
A divorce is already tough enough as it is, and saying or doing the wrong thing can make it even worse. When your emotions are running high through a stressful time like this, it is easy to make the wrong decision. Here are six mistakes you will want to avoid making during a divorce:
Not Considering Unsecured Debt
If you or your spouse incurred unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, while you were married, you are both responsible for paying it. However, if your spouse does not pay his or her portion of the debt when you get divorced, the credit card company can still come after you. That may seem unfair, but your credit rating could be in jeopardy. The best thing you can do is pay off all unsecured debt before you finalize the divorce.
Once you get divorced, your expenses can dramatically change. Even if your spouse has to pay you alimony, you still may not be able to live the lifestyle you did before. It is important to sit down and figure out how much you can realistically spend each month on food, clothes and other necessities. Also, do not forget about health insurance. Unfortunately, your premiums may go up after you get divorced.
Not Closing Joint Accounts
It can be extremely difficult to get your name removed from a joint bank account, so it is best to just close it before the divorce is finalized. If your spouse overdraws the account and your name is still on it, you will be responsible for paying back the money. Take all of the money out and divide it up evenly before you close the account.
Letting Emotions Take Over
While it is perfectly normal to have strong emotions during divorce proceedings, you can't let them cloud your thinking. For example, if you constantly think of ways you can get back at your spouse, you may lose sight of your goals. If you have children, being overly emotional can also have a negative effect on them. If you are feeling overly emotional, talk to a trusted family member or friend. He or she will provide a shoulder to lean on and prevent you from doing anything foolish.
Hiring the Wrong Divorce Lawyer
You are probably well aware about the benefits of hiring a divorce attorney. However, it is possible to hire the wrong one. For example, according to NearSay, if a divorce attorney did not have you sign a retainer agreement, it is a bad sign. In addition to listing your rights during the divorce proceedings, a retainer agreement provides all the different fees you have to pay. Also, if your attorney takes a while to return your phone calls and doesn't seem to have much time for you, you probably should find a lawyer with a lighter caseload. If you don't think your divorce lawyer is a good fit, do not be afraid to hire a different one.
Trying to hide assets, whether it is a boat or vacation home, can come back to bite you. This is an illegal act and should be avoided entirely. If the judge finds out, you will not get the settlement you want and may even face legal repercussions. If you are honest and disclose everything you own, the divorce process will go by a lot smoother.
A divorce is never truly easy, but avoiding these mistakes can make it a lot more bearable. If you remain calm and carefully think over every decision, you will be more likely to achieve a favorable outcome with your divorce. If you ever have a question or concern, you should visit a local law firm like Madison Law Firm PLLC.