Getting married is one of the happiest times in a person’s life. It’s the start of a new chapter and the opportunity to spend the rest of your life with the person you love. Not every marriage has a happy ending though. Sometimes couples decide to part ways and end things with a divorce. It’s important that if you decide to go down this route, you don’t make costly divorce mistakes that could leave you a lot worse off. Whatever the reason for your potential divorce, we are going to cover five of these mistakes in this blog post.
1. Leaving Joint Credit Card Accounts Open
No matter who decides to take on the responsibility for the credit card debt, if one spouse’s name is still on the account, they could be held liable. Credit card companies do not care who is on the account, only if it’s being paid off in time. That’s why it’s important to close down any joint accounts and move the remaining debt over to a new account with only the responsible spouse’s name on it. This will save at least one of the divorcees from getting a bad surprise down the road.
2. Not Getting All the Paperwork You Need
It’s easy to forget that certain documents aren’t needed until years down the road. There could come a time when your ex-spouse is unwilling or not able to provide those documents, so you should plan ahead. While you have the opportunity you should try gathering these documents:
- Amounts paid for large assets like your house and car
- Any type of account numbers and financial statements showing your spouse’s earnings
- Your spouse’s social security statements showing their earnings and future benefits
- Statements regarding life insurance policies on both spouse’s and the children
3. Using a Divorce to Punish Your Spouse
While it’s understandable that both parties are upset during this time, divorce shouldn’t be used as a means of hurting your spouse. This will cause a lot of emotional turmoil and extra pain for that person. Not only is a divorce breaking up the family, but it could also put the other person in a dire financial situation. If you have children you need to think of the consequences a divorce will have. It will cause a lot of pain and suffering on their end, likely causing some sort of resentment down the road. Divorce should only be used when both parties cannot work things out and it’s for everyone’s best interests.
4. Disregarding the Details
Going through divorce proceedings can be exhausting as it requires you to go over a lot of details about your personal life. You also have to gather a lot of data to support your points. By not accurately reporting these details, though, it can cost you down the road. For example, if your child plays sports, you should note down who is shouldering the costs for them to participate as well as who is providing transportation to their activities. The same can be said for doctor appointments. The spouse paying the bills for these appointments need to keep a close record of the costs so they can get reimbursed down the line. If the two spouses don’t go over these details, one of them could be facing significant costs down the road.
Getting Divorce Advice from Your Friends or Family
While your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they are not legal experts. You will hear a lot of urban myths about divorce, but they may not all be true. Every divorce is different, just because your friend got to keep certain assets doesn’t mean you will. Seek out the counsel of a divorce attorney so you can ensure things go as smoothly as possible during this difficult time.
As you can see, divorces can be a challenging time for all those involved. They affect both spouses, the children, and your entire family. If you’re not prepared, you can make some costly divorce mistakes that will affect you both financially and emotionally down the road. Make sure to take your time going over everything with your lawyer and don’t rush. This will ensure the smoothest possible outcome for everyone involved.