Divorce is often considered one of the most challenging experiences you can endure. The good news is that things improve over time as you rebuild your life into one that is more positive and rewarding. Despite the turbulence during this change, it is essential to remember that decisions made and agreed to are ones you must live with for a long time.
While negative feelings between separating spouses can lead to contentious, time-consuming and expensive legal battles, spouses often serve their best interests by avoiding the following mistakes.
Accepting one-sided settlements
Some make decisions based on anger, guilt and other strong emotions. Self-flagellation can seem like a reward, but it is not what you deserve. It’s also important to remember that you have no obligation to sign any paperwork your soon-to-be ex presents. Setting emotions aside, both spouses should work towards a fair and equitable resolution.
Not checking for errors
Professional attorneys are human and capable of errors, but they may have misunderstood what you said. It is crucial for clients to closely review the finished settlement proposal and ask questions if something doesn’t seem right. Those signing the agreement must believe it accurately reflects their understanding before moving forward.
It is essential to remain forthright and fair throughout the process. You might feel tempted to conceal money or valuables, hoping your ex forgot about them, but this deceit can have serious ramifications. If the divorce is litigated, a spouse who lies under oath could face criminal charges.
Not sharing the burden of outstanding debt
While all the assets are fairly divided, there are likely unpaid debts from the marriage. Verify that the settlement justly divides these monetary obligations. Moving forward, ensure credit cards only have your name to ensure the spouse doesn’t saddle you with additional debt.
Failing to hire an attorney
Just because the couple has an amicable split does not mean they don’t need legal representation. Attorneys help to ensure that arrangements are fair and equitable for clients and can also help find creative solutions when there is a sticking point. They can also draft binding arrangements and help identify glaring omissions or questionable claims. In short, attorneys look after the best interests of their clients.