You may remember the many issues you had to resolve when preparing for your wedding. At the time, it seemed like every detail was critical, and one mistake could ruin the day. As important as those wedding matters were, your divorce issues may carry even more weight. After all, the resolutions you reach during your divorce could impact your life for many years.
As emotional as a divorce may be, it is important to understand the gravity of your choices. You may want to get it over with as quickly as possible because the pain is too much to bear, or you may simply be anxious to move on with your new life. However, the extra caution you use when making decisions can mean the difference between a hopeful future or one full of struggle.
Documentation and tax ramifications
It may help to think of your divorce as the legal matter that it is. You and your spouse are preparing to divide those assets and liabilities you have in common, and you want to ensure you obtain a fair and reasonable division. To accomplish this, it is important to have all the vital information at hand, such as your spouse's Social Security records, balances and numbers for your joint accounts, appraisals for any major assets and other documents.
This information may not be available indefinitely. In fact, the sooner you have them in hand, the better. Additionally, you will benefit from understanding the tax ramifications when you divide certain assets. Your retirement funds, investments and even the sale of your home can carry complicated tax consequences that can affect their true value. Failing to understand these consequences can leave you with far less than you deserve after asset division.
Once you have your financial information and taxes figured out, you are not necessarily free and clear from other mistakes that can cost you during your divorce. Other missteps to avoid include the following:
- Sharing too much information about your divorce on social media, especially financial information that can compromise your divorce settlement
- Holding on to the house or other property you can't afford to maintain
- Neglecting to close joint credit cards and other accounts
- Trusting your ex to make payments on joint accounts
- Failing to investigate alternative forms of divorce, such as mediation or collaboration, to avoid an expensive litigation
Perhaps the safest way to avoid these and other common mistakes is to enlist the services of a Pennsylvania attorney who can offer sound advice based on knowledge and experience.