Have you noticed how everybody has advice for a friend contemplating separation or divorce?
If you are having marital problems, you can expect to get it from every corner of your world. Friends, family, acquaintances, and total strangers.
Avoid Mistakes During Divorce
As practicing divorce law attorneys with over 20 years of experience, we have just about heard it all! The purpose of this article is to dispel some of the myths and help you focus on avoiding simple mistakes that can have devastating, and expensive effects.
Be Aware of These 5 Expensive Divorce Mistakes
1. Walking Out Without Planning
The simple truth is that divorce is always emotional. Unfortunately, emotion and critical thinking are not exactly peanut butter and chocolate. When you are overcome with anger, jealousy, guilt, or sadness, you are much more likely to make rash, ill-advised decisions. Stop and think before you act.
Do your homework, and yes, this would include a consultation with a divorce lawyer. Simply wailing out in a fury may feel good, but that act can make it much more difficult to see your children, get your property, or defend or assert support and alimony claims. You need a plan, and you need to lay the groundwork first.
2. Signing Anything You Do Not Fully Understand
If we asked for a show of hands of how many people understood all of the legal documents they have signed, we would anticipate about 10% of our clients would reach for the sky.
Shady divorce attorneys know this, and they take advantage of this fact. Divorce lawyers are paid to represent the interest of their client, not to draft a fair agreement. A simple review can usually be obtained for a few hundred dollars and it can save you a world of headaches down the road.
3. Blissful Ignorance
If you were in a marriage where the other party controls all of the finances, then you have some homework to do. Whether your lack of knowledge is due to an over-controlling spouse or just being content letting your other half deal with the finances, you need to have an idea of your finances.
If you are married, your name is probably on many, if not all, of the loans and bank accounts. Investigate and find out what is going on. Ask questions and snoop. Do not do anything to put yourself in danger, but understand the first step in any divorce is asserting your rights as an individual – and this would include knowing what you have and what you owe financially.
4. Only Listening to Your Friends
Would you follow your non-stock broker neighbor’s advice to put everything you own into some penny stock he just knew was gonna make it big? We hope not!
The only thing other people know is what has happened to them or what they have been told. A million different things affect divorce and the majority of people who enjoy talking about the details of their personal lives are, shall we say, prone to embellish. No divorce is the same, so doing what somebody else did, or risking your life’s savings on what someone else heard, is not a wise decision.
5. Failure to Formalize Agreements
Most people who divorce in this country wind up coming to some sort of agreement on how to divide property, deal with child custody, child support, and other marital issues. The mistake people make too often is to stop there, and simply count on the goodwill of their soon-to-be ex to follow through.
However, no “agreement” is binding unless it is formalized in a legal contract, separation agreement, property settlement, or some form of Consent Order. In separation and divorce, most if not all states require written, notarized agreements that meet certain legal formalities to be recognized and enforced.
An informal agreement also is likely to leave out certain important details, such as agreeing that one party shall take the house and mortgage, but failing to require them to refinance the loan into their name alone within a certain time, or requiring that a deed be signed. Simple oversights in drafting agreements can be catastrophic and expensive.
Contact a Raleigh Divorce Lawyer & Save Yourself from Mistakes
Get informed before you get divorced and protect yourself. Knowledge is power, and you will want to start your new life confident in the knowledge that you have done everything you can do to get off to a good start.
A Raleigh divorce attorney can help you avoid many common mistakes during a divorce. Contact our law firm today to discuss how we can help you with your case. Call us at (919) 301-8843 or complete the contact form below to schedule a consultation.
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