This episode contains some lessons that many people learn as they go through a divorce. Here are four things to avoid as you go through the divorce process:
- Don’t do anything shady.
- Don’t believe your ex-spouse about what is going on in your divorce.
- Don’t be oblivious about what is going on in your marriage and family.
- Consult an attorney for either your whole case or on a limited basis.
Some people try to get away with suspicious activity when going through a divorce. One of the most common examples is moving sums of money around or trying to hide assets. They may try to adjust their income in an effort to pay less support later. Avoid doing these things. It will probably come back to haunt you.
If you have not been in the loop with regards to the marital finances, you may still have a sense that there is something odd going on with your spouse. If you were the primary earner in the marriage, you may think you are being clever by hiding money, but your spouse is probably not oblivious to what you are doing. When you have been married to someone for a long time, they will probably know if something is out of the ordinary. Suspicious actions can come back to hurt you later. Don’t do anything out of the ordinary, because it can hurt you later.
Some people are coming from a relationship where there was an imbalance of power. Maybe your spouse was in charge of more things in the household and was more dominant in the relationship. They may be making threats about custody or keeping assets from you. Any time you hear threats from your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, you should ignore them, aside from communicating them to your attorney. Spouses can say a lot of things to try to scare you. Just understand that there are laws to ensure a decent outcome for both parties. Your spouse’s threats are likely to be empty.
As soon as you know that divorce may be in the near future, you need to take control of your life. Get your credit report. Make sure you know about all of your credit cards, retirement accounts, and any other debts or assets. Gather up important documents like your estate plan and your will. Be aware of your expenses and what it costs to maintain your lifestyle. You need to take control of every area of your life. Your attorney will not figure everything out for you. You cannot ignore this and hope it will go away.
Some people try to pursue a divorce themselves, without an attorney. This usually happens when the divorce is mostly amicable and they can reach an agreement on most of the issues in the divorce. However, it is important to ensure that whatever settlement you reach will make sense for the both of you. If you end up doing something that’s far outside the bounds of the law for your state, you may not be making the best deal. You also could be missing a large element of your divorce. There are regulations for some aspects of divorce, like custody agreements, that you need to be familiar with. It’s a good idea to consult an attorney to make sure your settlement is within bounds. Even if you are an attorney in another area of the law, you are probably not equipped to handle family law.
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Thank you for listening!