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4 Divorce Mistakes to Avoid

When life-changing events occur, there is a list of udivorce mistakessual suspects who always have advice to spare, and spare said advice they do. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, best friends, grandparents, coworkers; it’s almost as though there isn’t a single person you know who doesn’t have some advice they must share with you. But in the realm of divorce advice, if you listen to anything, listen and learn from these 4 divorce mistakes.

1) Only think about the immediate future. In the throes of a divorce, it’s easy to be distracted by thoughts of the here and now. Things like where you’re going live, how you’re going to pay bills, buy groceries, and survive are heavy in your mind, and that’s understandable.

However, when dividing the assets and property don’t forget about how things are going to weigh on you in the future. After divorce is finalized, there are going to be taxes to be paid, maintenance to be done, and the unforeseeable future to deal with. So when mulling over which assets to retain, think about how much that brand-spanking new car is going to be worth, say, 10 years from now. (Hint: Cars depreciate in value)

2) Don’t study up on marital finances. It’s fairly common in a marriage for one spouse to become the keeper of the finances. But when divorce comes barging in, that dynamic crashes to a halt. Many a wife or husband have been shortchanged in the divorce process because they didn’t know what to ask for.

So word to the wise: Instead of spending all your time trying to figure out what happened, start using some of that time to track down where every single penny of the marital money and assets went. It’ll be hard work, and it’ll take lots of willpower, but you’ll rest easier knowing you won’t get fooled.

3) Lose sight of the big picture. From the moment someone says, “I want a divorce,” life is never the same for either spouse. Due to this stressful time, it’s easy to lose sight of what is really important in life.

We suggest taking a moment early in the process to sit down by yourself and calmly think about what you need to survive on your own after this divorce. During this time, create a list of the things you absolutely will need, and the main things you want out of the divorce. Your list can include anything from “peace of mind,” to “a parenting plan that works for my children and me,” to something as simple as “the house.” Keep this list and during the divorce process refer back to it to make sure you’re making decisions that will get you where you want to go.

4) Let emotions take over. As any good attorney will tell you, divorce should be treated as a business transaction instead of a personal matter. It’s certainly possible to use divorce as punishment for your ex, but for your sake and (if you have any) your children’s sake, don’t do it.

If your emotions are behind hiring combative lawyers, and hiding assets, then it’s time to revisit divorce mistake #3. To avoid falling prey to your emotions, pursue relaxing, expressive activities, like journaling, hiking, going out with friends, or even seeing a therapist.

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