Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on July 15, 2012


A blogger, Suzanna de Baca, wrote about avoiding mistakes in the process of divorce at HuffingtonPost.com. I will make reference to three of the mistakes she cites.

1. Giving it all away.

Although many couples who have a contested divorce, tend to contest whatever they can, there are some who just “throw in the towel”. Since the fight becomes so unpalatable, they simply give up all claims to everything. This is the ultimate short-term decision. It will please you for the moment, but months later, you will likely feel that you cheated yourself. Don’t contest everything; it will taint your soul. But do not determine that nothing is worth discussing and negotiating. It is a decision you may well regret later on.

2. Assuming debts have all been paid up.

In your agreement, have a discussion about debts and what will happen if creditors suddenly show up on debts you knew nothing about. The mortgage is one such example, but so is therapy sessions, school tuition, loans, etc. Be prudent about what you are assuming about your potential financial liability.

3. Picking up legal fees.

Split legal fees where you can. Save legal fees where you can. Do not be overly trusting but do not be overly cynical.

How to save some of the trauma from the above? Mediate and then have an attorney review what has transpired. As President Reagan liked to quote: “Trust but verify.” Your divorce agreement will color your financial picture for years to come. Prudence is a virtue in this arena.