What you should – and shouldn’t – do during divorce

| Sep 1, 2020 | Divorce

A multitude of  people looking back on their divorce have no misgivings at all concerning the process. Others can point to a thing or two they might have done differently.

And then there are of course individuals who end up being spotlighted for the “what not to do” behavior they exhibited while negotiating their divorce details.

National financial columnist Lis Weston called out the conduct of one of those individuals in a past article on ill-advised maneuvering during the dissolution process.

Her profiled poster boy for instructive purposes did this: argued strongly that a settlement proposed by his wife would leave him financially ruined … while simultaneously bragging on Internet sites “about the great vacation he just took and the big deal he just closed.”

That undoubtedly came back to haunt him.

Weston’s above-cited article points to several additional errors divorcing spouses make that can leave them second-guessing for years following a marital split. Here are a few mistakes she underscores:

  • Failure to sit down with proven legal counsel and evaluate the differential tax impact among assets at issue in marital property division (e.g., IRS exactions on withdrawals from taxable 401(k) accounts, and potential tax outlays relevant to a home sale)
  • Failure to systematically identify and close all financial accounts jointly held with a former spouse (that can rear its ugly head, for example, if a divorced-ex runs up a tab on a credit card and can’t make payment)
  • Failure to timely and comprehensively make copies of virtually all conceivable records/documents relevant to financial matters during marriage (an experienced divorce attorney can help compile a list; knowing account numbers, balances, Social Security information and so forth can become vitally important years down the road)

And then there’s this point emphasized by Weston: Do consider alternatives to litigated divorce. A process like mediation or collaborative divorce can be ideal for couples able to maintain base civility and skirt the adversarialism of a court-directed process. Moreover, those so-called alternative dispute resolution offerings can prove to be comparatively cheap.

The bottom line concerning many divorces is that there can be a wide-ranging spectrum of “do this, don’t do that behaviors and strategies that ultimately play into an outcome. Attorneys from an established and empathetic law firm can timely advise a client and help ensure that he or she ends a marriage with confidence that a proper focus and linked strategies were employed throughout the process.