When a couple experiences significant problems in their marriage, they might start to think seriously about filing for divorce. One or both of the spouses may begin taking active steps toward bringing the marriage to an end.
Unfortunately, many who find themselves in this situation often fail to focus on some important issues that may arise during the divorce process. In this post, we discuss three of the biggest money mistakes that couples make during and after a divorce, and provide you with some practical information that you can use to avoid a similar fate.
1. Not closing joint accounts
This is perhaps one of the most critical issues that many people often miss in a divorce. One of the spouses decides to end the marriage, and notifies the other of his or her intentions before closing shared accounts. The other spouse then takes all the money or runs up huge credit card bills, leaving the other in a very precarious financial situation.
Before you file, make sure that you restrict the access to any shared accounts that you and your spouse own together. This is extremely important, and can make things much easier for both of you when trying to divide your marital property.
2. Accepting a bad property division settlement
So many people in a divorce just want to get the matter in the past as soon as possible. You want to move on with your life and not spend every day stuck having the same old arguments. You agree to a settlement on the division of your marital property because you are just exhausted by the process.
You need to understand that this is one of the worst choices that you could make in your divorce. These agreements are often unable to be revisited, so you will have to live with the choices that you make at this time. California law entitles you to an equal share of your marital property, and you cannot make decisions that jeopardize your ability to move on post-divorce.
3. Having the wrong plan for the future
Your entire life is going to change. You will have to set up an entirely new household on one income. When you start over, you have to consider the long-term impact that this will have upon you financially. A lack of planning could result in severe financial hardship, or even bankruptcy.
Before you make any decisions about your divorce or life after divorce, you should discuss your case with an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that you have the advice you need for your specific situation.