Uncoupling is hard to do, and much more so when it involves dividing a household or time with your children. In the midst of emotional upheaval, dealing with the financial aspects of your separation can be overwhelming. Since dividing assets is a major source of conflict for any couple, this is often when the best intentions for an amicable split go flying out the window. But its critical to avoid costly divorce mistakes in the process!
AVOID COSTLY DIVORCE MISTAKES:
- Focusing on one issue – Instead beaming in on one single thing, such as keeping the home at all costs, try to be a big picture person.
- Failing to figure out what it will really cost you to live on after divorce – Don’t be short sighted: what appears to be an equitable division of property at a ‘break up’ time can turn out to be grossly inequitable due to tax consequences when assets are liquidated in the future to meet cash flow needs.
- Making financial decisions based on emotions – Make sure that your desire to make it go away does not cause you to “just” settle. If you can’t think clearly about your finances, engage the help of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA).
- Not considering the tax ramifications – A dollar of cash or home equity is NOT equal to a dollar of retirement assets. Use caution when trading assets with differing tax characteristics
- 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 for all concerned down the road.
When break up is inevitable, it is important to do your financial homework and seek a help from a qualified financial professional and a mediator to help you avoid the financial pitfalls so common when emotions affect decision-making.
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