Top 5 Divorce Mistakes
Decision has been made to divorce and to do it Now! It’s a very emotional time: nerve endings are frayed and patience is wearing thin. When faced with seemingly daunting choices and decisions all you can think of is, “I just want it over with, I want it to stop hurting, now!” But the willingness to sacrifice in order to move forward quickly does no one any good. Rushing divorce proceedings is like putting a band-aid on a serious wound.
WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CAN HURT YOU!
People often overlook the things that are so important to help make informed choices once they decide that divorce is inevitable. Taking care of fairly simple things right away can save a lot of financial heartache later.
SOME THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW: Gather financial documents, such as copies of bank statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements and tax returns Order a credit report from all three agencies right away. This gives a good picture of how debt is titled and what accounts need to be closed.
TOP 5 DIVORCE MISTAKES TO AVOID:
1. Using historical spending data to determine the post divorce budget – Prepare post-divorce budget and pay attention to things such as health insurance, quarterly estimated IRS payments and extracurricular activities for children.
2. Assuming that a 50 – 50 split is the right way to go – What appears to be a win-win situation in the short term could actually be a lose-lose situation down the road.
3. Having inadequate life insurance – Having proper coverage means that the receiver is protected against the premature demise of the support payer.
4. Looking to the soon to be ex to determine how to split assets – Even in mediated divorces, be a part of the decision-making process – you can trust but verify.
5. Failing to look at post-divorce tax ramifications and cash flow - Don’t be short sighted: what appears to be an equitable division of property at divorce time, can turn out to be grossly inequitable due to tax consequences when assets are liquidated in the future to meet cash flow needs. When divorce is inevitable, it’s important to do financial homework. If necessary, seek professional help from a divorce financial analyst who can help you avoid the financial pitfalls so common when emotions affect decision-making.
Denisa Tova MBA, CFP, CDFA provides divorce financial expertise to divorcing individuals. She is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Certified Financial Planner and Mediator.