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Financial mistakes in divorce: Just don't do it!

Untangling the financial aspects of a marriage can be very difficult. While divorce is a complicated process that can hardly be summed up in a brief blog post, there are a few major mistakes than can be highlighted — and thus avoided — in just a few words.

First, if your spouse is trying to use any children you may have as bargaining chips, you simply cannot allow it. You are entitled to your fair share of marital assets, and child custody decisions should be separate and distinct from financial matters.

You also need to go into divorce with realistic expectations. The fact is, you will likely need more money than you think after getting divorced. Take whatever amount you think you will need, and increase it. You do not want to settle for anything less than you need simply in order to wrap things up quickly.

Factor in the "hidden" costs of assets in property division. Do you have real estate or stocks that need to be divided in divorce? Well, if these types of assets have increased in value, whoever winds up with them may have to pay taxes on the gains when the assets are ultimately sold. Do not foot the bill unless you are getting something adequate in return!

Finally, remember this: hedge your bets on debt. Like property, debt must also be divided in divorce. Even if the divorce settlement assigns responsibility for paying a certain debt to your ex spouse, if he or she stops making the payments, creditors may ultimately come after you.

Divorce is hard, but don't sweat it. With the right legal help, and by avoiding some of the bigger missteps, you're going to come out of things in a positive place.

Source: Time, "The 7 Biggest Money Mistakes That Divorcing Women Make," Lili A Vasileff, July 9, 2014

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