A couple must navigate an emotionally heated process when moving through a divorce. The divorce process becomes more complex the longer the couple was married. From the division of a family business to developing a parenting plan schedule that accounts for numerous contingencies, every divorce features several unique pitfalls that couples must avoid.
Here are five common mistakes, though, that individuals can identify and circumvent.
- Basing your divorce agreement on the present status quo: Many couples fail to appreciate the future when determining support or the division of assets and debts. While these numbers can be adjusted through the modification process, it is wise to build in some flexibility based on job loss, medical emergency or rising tuition costs.
- Fighting to maintain the current lifestyle: Many divorcing couples set themselves up for challenges by holding firm on unrealistic expectations. The reality is that you are in the midst of dividing one household into two – halving your buying power in the process. By providing yourself or your children the same types of expensive vacations, for example, can put enormous strain on your new financial situation.
- Failing to account for the details: Generally, this becomes tied to money. Many parents split responsibility with the children, for example. One parent will take the child to the doctor and the other parent foots the insurance cost. In a divorce, however, this might not be so simple. It is important to factor in these types of details before a resolution is reached. Even after the divorce has finished, it is crucial that you keep detailed financial records of events that were not accounted for in the original agreement.
- In a hurry to remarry: It is no secret that some people are happier when in a relationship. Unfortunately, this can mean that they might become reckless in their pursuit of a new marriage. Consider the challenges you faced in your previous marriage when entering a new one. Would a comprehensive prenuptial agreement have eased some of the tensions in your divorce?
- Basing your financial choices on a lack of information: Financial experience is crucial in forming the basis of sound decisions. From understanding your debt to income ratio to the ability to complete a cost-benefit analysis of a new credit card, individuals should take care to learn as much as possible about their newly independent finances as they can before making decisions.
Even when it is the best possible solution for your future, a divorce can represent emotional and financial turmoil. It is wise to seek guidance and advice wherever possible and consider your actions before making a decision that might hurt your future.