If you are heading toward divorce, you can probably look back over your marriage and recognize many mistakes. Whether you take responsibility for the end of your marriage or you lay the blame squarely on your spouse’s shoulders, you can probably admit there are things you would do differently if you had the chance, perhaps beginning with the first day you met your spouse.
The regret of those mistakes may be difficult to bear, especially if they led to others being hurt, such as your children or your other family members. You certainly would not want to make mistakes you will regret in your divorce. Unfortunately, because emotions are typically high at the end of a marriage, it is common for separating couples to make mistakes that can negatively affect the outcome of their divorce.
You can help yourself
When you think back on the plans you made to get married, you may remember feeling overwhelmed with the details. Although getting everything right seemed to matter more than anything at the time, you may agree that the color of your flowers and napkins had little effect on your marriage. On the other hand, the little details in a divorce can have a tremendous impact on your future. Taking the following steps may improve your chances of having a stable financial future after your divorce:
- Don’t delay in gathering important documents, such as account numbers, details about your spouse’s earnings, mortgage documentation and other things your spouse may not so willingly share as time passes.
- Obtain the values of your joint assets, such as your home, your retirement funds, artwork and other items.
- Learn which of your investments, retirement funds and other financial accounts carry tax implications that can reduce their true worth.
- Get information about how spousal support will affect your taxes.
- Close any joint credit accounts and pay off as much joint debt as possible to avoid a division of debt that could leave you responsible for loans or credit card payments that your spouse incurred.
- Minimize your social media presence during your divorce to avoid the misinterpretation of your posts or pictures that may affect how the court divides your property.
You may also be able to save some money by considering the use of alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or collaboration. Your attorney can advise you if one of these options is appropriate for you and of any other steps you can take to improve your chances of meeting your post-divorce financial goals.