If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may feel overwhelmed by the tasks ahead and the changes coming in the post-divorce era.
Here are three common mistakes you can avoid as you prepare for the divorce.
1. Failing to acknowledge the status quo may change
When you enter the property division phase of your divorce, you expect an equitable split of assets and debts. That is certainly the goal. However, changes in the status quo can happen even before you finish negotiating your settlement agreement. Examples are the loss of a job, the unexpected depreciation of an asset or a change in the health of your child. You may wish to add language to your agreement that addresses possible changes in your circumstances.
2. Holding unrealistic lifestyle expectations
Should you keep your home or sell it? This is one of the considerations you will face in the property division. Remember that your lifestyle is about to change. You may have to downsize and learn to live on a smaller budget than you had during your marriage.
3. Ignoring your financial picture
Usually, one party puts more work into managing the financial aspects of a marriage than the other party does. If your spouse was in charge of the finances, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the details. Start by drawing up a list of your assets and debts, income and expenses. You will need such a list for your attorney anyway and should keep a copy for yourself. You must understand all you can about the current financial picture, so you know how best to handle finances once the divorce is over and you begin the next chapter of your life.