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Preparing for Divorce: Common Financial Mistakes People Make during Divorce

Divorce is a stressful, complicated process, and those going through it are easily susceptible to making mistakes. If you are struggling to cope emotionally with your divorce, your finances – both short and long term – may not be on the top of your mind. If you are going through a divorce, however, you need to be aware of a few mistakes you may be making that could potentially impact your finances for years to come. Divorce specialists say there are a few common financial mistakes their clients make during divorce, and encourage those about to protect themselves from them. They Do Not Budget Budgeting seems to be a problem for Americans. A recent Gallup poll showed that only one third of Americans create and follow a household budget, so it comes as no surprise that people do not budget for divorce either. Before filing, sit down and review the future costs of your divorce. Additionally, budget for your life as a newly single person. Will you be working? Will you be receiving maintenance or other support? They Do Not Get Their Assets Valued If you want an accurate idea of how much you and your ex will be receiving from your divorce settlement, you need to know the value of everything you owned together. While having your house appraised during a divorce may seem like a hassle, it really is the only way you can plan for your settlement. Similarly, if you or your spouse has a pension, get it valued. They Do Not Gather All of Their Important Financial Documents Experts say that not having a complete picture of your shared finances is one of the easiest ways to make financial mistakes during divorce. While nobody enjoys sifting through financial records and other important documentation, you need to know your complete financial picture before moving forward too far. Another common mistake is not reviewing these documents. Simply gathering the information is not enough; you must understand it. If you do not have an accurate understanding of your family’s finances, how can you move forward? They Forget About Taxes All too often people find themselves with a large tax bill after divorce. Taxes can affect many parts of your divorce, so it is essential to understand the tax implications of your settlement. They Only Hire a Lawyer While hiring an experienced divorce attorney is certainly one way to help ensure a smooth divorce process, you may need other help. In complex divorce situations, for example, when multiple businesses are involved, or a variety of investments are involved, you may need to seek additional help. A financial planner or another specialist with a financial background can help you ensure you are making the best decisions possible.

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