Top 10 Pitfalls in the Divorce Process
Learn from the mistakes other divorcing couples have made — read on for the top 10 pitfalls in the divorce process.
- Not seeking legal help early: The earlier you get legal help, the earlier you will be able to determine what you need to make the divorce happen. Remember, your spouse may already be acting under the advice of a divorce attorney.
- Trying to negotiate a divorce agreement on your own: If you negotiate a divorce agreement yourself, you may leave out important issues or negotiate an agreement that is not advantageous to your interests.
- Acting out of spite: If you try to harass your spouse by unreasonable demands or withholding custody, you will make it harder to come to a divorce agreement. This can cost you money, and the judge may end up making important decisions for you.
- Agreeing to something just to get it over with: You may want to just end the process and get the divorce, but if you agree to a financial settlement or to a custody arrangement you aren’t happy with, you may regret it later when it will be difficult or impossible to change.
- Not fully understanding the divorce settlement: If you don’t understand everything in the settlement with regards to what you are getting or if you agree to a custody arrangement without fully understanding it, you could end up with a situation you aren’t happy with.
- Not learning about all assets and financial information: When you get divorced, you are entitled to split up marital assets and property according to rules defined by the law. If you don’t know about all of the assets you two have, you may end up not getting everything you are entitled to.
- Failing to deal with marital debt: If one of you has debts but they are in both of your names, the creditors can hold you both legally responsible for the debt. This is true even if your divorce agreement says that one person is responsible. It is a good idea to transfer debts into the name of the person who owes the money.
- Forgetting about insurance: Often, one spouse is covered by another spouses’ policy. If you get divorced, you may need to make special arrangements to continue the coverage, or you may need to get your own coverage.
- Trying to hold on to a life that has become financially impractical: Some people don’t want to give up the lives they were leading while married. However, your financial situation may be very different after a divorce, and if you don’t make adjustments, you could end up getting into debt or financial trouble.
- Refusing to compromise: If you aren’t willing to be fair to your spouse and compromise then it may be hard to come to an agreement. This can mean you incur more legal fees or that a judge has to decide how to divide up your assets.