If you are facing divorce, you must understand the importance of the property division phase. The eventual settlement will affect your future, for better or worse.
Be well prepared as you enter the property division process. Here are five mistakes to avoid.
1. Making an incomplete list
When you go through a divorce, the law requires you to produce complete financial documents and sign a financial affidavit. When you prepare a list of your assets, be sure the information is accurate and current. Do not risk incurring liabilities that should not be yours.
2. Agreeing to anything
Whether one of you has become involved in a new relationship or you simply cannot stand your spouse any longer, you may want the divorce to end quickly, no matter the cost. In this frame of mind, you may be willing to agree to anything. You may therefore give up more than you should, which might be devastating for your future financial picture. Do not rush, and do not be too agreeable. Think of your divorce as if it were a business that you are in the process of dissolving.
3. Not investgating
The more assets there are, the more important it is for you to find out if your spouse has hidden any of them from you. Are there secret bank accounts you knew nothing about? Company bonuses your spouse may have put on hold until the divorce is final? Objects of value squirreled away at the office? Your attorney may advise you to consider engaging the services of a professional, such as a forensic accountant, who can conduct an investigation.
4. Ignoring tax consequences
You might not be thinking in terms of tax consequences, but you should be. For example, consider what your net alimony payment will be after taxes. Will that fit your post-marital budget? Remember, too, that certain assets you receive in the divorce settlement are taxable.
5. Giving into anger
You may want revenge and see your soon-to-be-ex pay dearly for the wrongs that led to your divorce. Anger is not a good motivator, especially when it comes to property division. Take charge of your emotions so you can make good decisions that will ensure a sound financial future.