One of the most challenging things about getting divorced is you are faced with making all these decisions with far-reaching consequences, particularly in the finance department, at a time when emotions are running high, and frankly, you may be a bit of a mess. It can be hard to think straight when your life is in upheaval. But, with a willingness to educate yourself about how to best navigate this new reality, you can drastically reduce problems and mistakes. Here are just of the most common financial mistakes for which to watch:
Not Having Any Idea What Your Life Costs
One of the biggest reasons people have money problems is they don’t take the time to really familiarize themselves with their expenses and true income. You may know how much money you are bringing in with each paycheck, but as for where it is all going, not a clue. If you are getting divorced, this has to change. You need to figure out exactly how you are spending your money and how much you need now and for the future. This will be very useful in divorce proceedings in helping you maintain your quality of life as best you can.
Cheaping Out on a Divorce Lawyer
Choosing a divorce lawyer is the most crucial decision you will make. While your budget will certainly be a factor, and you may not be able to bag the most well-known attorneys, you don’t want to base your decision solely on cost. This could end up being a very expensive mistake if you end up with a lawyer who is not as competent, and skilled. While a more expensive attorney does not necessarily mean he is a better attorney, there is usually a correlation between what a person charges and how skilled and knowledgeable he is. Ultimately, it comes down to following your gut. If you don’t feel good about an attorney, don’t hire him because of the appeal of a lower price tag.
Assuming the Parent Who Has the Children More of the Time Should Keep the House
We get emotionally attached to our houses. The kids are comfortable and settled. Moving is a huge pain. It may seem like a no-brainer that the person with more custodial time keeps the house, but from a money-standpoint, this may not always be the best choice. Removing all emotional ties, you have to really consider whether you can truly afford the house in the long-run.
Looking at Financial Issues Separately One at a Time
By looking at each financial issue separately, you are missing critical links and insights that could cause big problems later with your finances. Different aspects of your financial life will have various connections to each other that you want to see immediately to make the best decisions. When you start with a comprehensive picture that includes all assets, debts, sources of income, it will be easier to see how one financial decision will influence another. This will make for a more effective strategy.