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A look at some common mistakes that divorcing spouses make

Illinois residents may be interested in some information about common mistakes made during a divorce. Without knowledge of these mistakes, a person may end up with a bad deal coming out of a separation.

One of the biggest mistakes that newly separated spouses make is allowing emotions to take over during the divorce negotiations. This can lead to an outcome that is short-sighted, leaving that spouse in a bad long-term position. This could include giving up a portion of the ex-spouse's retirement accounts in order to keep a house. While this may seem like a good idea at the time, it could wind up being a big financial mistake. If one does not have the financial means to keep up the house and pay the various taxes and other expenses, that person may have little liquidity.

Spouses often allow their emotions to escalate issues during the divorce, which can cause attorney and other fees to skyrocket. A more practical approach can help to minimize time and costs. Another mistake is seeing only a few of the many pieces that make up the outcome of the divorce. For instance, taking alimony as one lump sum payment may sound like it will be helpful, but it may have serious tax implications. Additionally, increasing alimony may also affect a person's taxes negatively. Thinking through the settlement as a whole allows one to better see the big picture.

In order to do this better, an attorney with experience in divorce property division issues may be helpful. A lawyer may help assess one's financial situation and determine what a fair settlement looks like. The attorney may also be useful in negotiating the settlement.

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Goddard & Malmquist
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