There are several financial elements of a divorce that you may not be able to avoid, like filing fees and refinancing your mortgage. However, the behavior of the spouses themselves can also have a tremendous impact on how much a divorce can ultimately cost.
In many cases, people can make serious errors during the process that ramp up the cost of divorce.
Five costly mistakes to avoid
Throughout your divorce, it’s crucial to avoid these common missteps that typically have financial consequences for one or both parties.
- Oversimplifying the process: The legal system is rife with nuance, legal motions and complexities that most people without a legal background do not understand. When parties oversimplify the divorce process, they could wind up leaving money on the table during negotiations or missing deadlines that add to legal expenses.
- Bad-mouthing an ex: It is not unusual to feel angry and betrayed by a spouse. However, venting these emotions online or to an ex’s colleagues can make it unlikely that an ex will want to cooperate. Thus, cost-effective approaches like mediation can be out of the question.
- Making false accusations: Making false accusations of misconduct like adultery or abuse can ultimately hurt the accuser more than anyone else. They can trigger legal motions, charges and penalties that cost much more than a person might expect. They can also make the accuser look dishonest and unreliable in the eyes of the court.
- Attempting to hide assets: People might try concealing or misrepresenting assets in an effort to shield them from division in a divorce. However, doing so is illegal and can result in serious consequences for the person who lied under oath.
- Proceeding without professional guidance: People might think that by not involving lawyers, child custody counselors or financial advisors, they are saving themselves time, money and energy. However, most people going through a divorce are doing so for the first time; legal, financial and family professionals have the experience and training to navigate the systems more efficiently.
Saving money during a divorce can be high on the list of priorities for divorcing spouses. Avoiding these common mistakes can go a long way in accomplishing this.