Many couples today are turning to alternatives to the traditional courtroom divorce handled by attorneys. While this puts their divorce in their hands, it can make spouses vulnerable to common financial mistakes they might make without professional help. Making financial mistakes in divorce is usually a result of not having enough information or not taking your time. Here are five common financial mistakes that even well-intentioned spouses can make and how to avoid them:
- Immediately taking the matter to court. If you think an attorney can battle in court to get you a windfall, think again. Taking your divorce to court takes money out of both of your pockets. Working things out on your own or with the help of a mediator can save you the costs of attorneys’ fees.
- Fighting over money. It’s counterintuitive to spend time and money fighting over assets in a divorce. Fighting draws things out, and this can often mean less money is available to divide in the end. Working together can save you money.
- Not planning for taxes. Unless your divorce is being finalized during tax season, you may not be thinking far enough ahead. Discuss with your spouse how you will each file, with what exemptions, and who will take the deductions and credits. You may be able to work out an agreement that maximizes both of your tax benefits.
- Not taking into account all assets. Overlooking assets like collectibles and household tool sets can result in an unfair division of property. Those little things add up. Make sure all your assets are accounted for so you can achieve a truly fair division in the divorce.
- Underestimating daily living expenses. Clients sometimes do this unwittingly when they are calculating the amount they need to live off of, usually for child support and alimony purposes. Your calculations may indicate you spend more than you take in, and that is normal. Starting with accurate assessments of your living expenses, however, can help ensure your finances are properly allocated in the divorce.
You don’t have to make any of these mistakes if you plan and prepare accordingly. Make sure you discuss these mistakes with your spouse and your divorce mediator. Going through your divorce financials thoroughly is time- consuming, but it can ensure both you and your spouse have some financial stability in the future. If you have children, they will benefit from a financially stable future as well. Talk to a divorce mediator if you have questions about how to avoid making these mistakes while you create your separation agreement.
If you have questions about avoiding financial mistakes in your divorce, contact Mediation Advantage Services for experienced family law help. Polly A. Tatum can assist you and your spouse with mediating your divorce amicably, saving you time, money, and stress. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at 508-795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.