Whether it is due to infidelity or financial problems, divorce is hard on everyone involved. All the legal matters involved in a divorce can make it even more emotionally draining. If you try to rush through the process, you can make mistakes that will affect you for a long time. It is best to sit down and educate yourself about the divorce process before you take action. Here are six legal mistakes to avoid during a divorce:
Hiring the Wrong Divorce Attorney
When you are going through a divorce, hiring the right divorce lawyer is one of the most important decisions you can make. You definitely do not want to hire an amateur who has not had any mediation training. Ann Kass, a District Judge in the Second Judicial District State of New Mexico, recommends hiring a divorce lawyer who is completely honest and will tell you what you don't want to hear. It might not be pleasant hearing bad news at first, but it will be for your own good. If your lawyer sugarcoats things and gives you unrealistic expectations, you will only be let down in the end.
If you're looking for a divorce attorney, consider checking out a site like http://www.jeffdragonlaw.com.
Fighting for Custody Without Knowing What It Means
If you have kids, the divorce process will likely be more complicated for you. That's why it is important to think about what type of custody is right for you and your spouse. For example, if you and your spouse do not get along at all, filing for joint custody will likely end in a disaster. It may be a better idea to fight for sole custody and give your spouse visitation rights.
Not Considering Mediation
If you are lucky enough to be on speaking terms with your spouse, do not rule out mediation. It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but it can help the two of you agree on a fair settlement. During mediation, you and your spouse will sit in a private room with a lawyer trained in mediation. This attorney will help you and your spouse come to an agreement on several different issues like child support and alimony. Instead of having a judge make all the legal decisions, you and your spouse can determine what will work best for your family.
Not Thinking About Taxes
Remember that you will get taxed on the marital assets that were granted to you. If your spouse offers to split everything down the middle, it might sound like a good deal, but you should not get too excited yet. It is important to figure out the value of the assets after taxes have been taken out. If you need help doing this, consider hiring an experienced tax professional.
Waiting to Pay Unsecured Debt
If unsecured debt, such as a credit card debt, was incurred while you were married, you will both be equally responsible for it after the divorce. However, if your spouse doesn't pay his or her half of the debt, the credit card companies may come after you for the full amount. To avoid damaging your credit history, it is a smart idea to pay off any unsecured debt before the divorce is settled.
Hiding Your Assets
Hiding your assets is not only morally wrong; it is also illegal. If the judge discovers that you haven't reported all your assets, you could face some serious legal repercussions. It's best to be honest about everything you own to avoid potential legal problems.
Going through a divorce is never easy, but it does not have to be unbearable. If you avoid these mistakes, the process will go a lot smoother for you.