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Financial mistakes to avoid during divorce

Ask any divorced person their top three regrets about the divorce process and you are likely to find a recurring theme. Many California residents who have gone through divorce wish that they had handled the financial aspects of the process differently. The following information is offered in the hopes that individuals who are considering filing for divorce can learn from the mistakes of others, and emerge from the process is solid financial shape.

Perhaps the most important part of ensuring a positive financial outcome is proper planning and preparation. The sheer volume of information that needs to be gathered surprises some spouses. It takes time to get all of the necessary statements and documents together, but organization at this stage can really pay off down the line. By having this information compiled and easily accessible, less time will be spent communicating with one's attorney, which translates into lower legal costs.

Another financial issue that many spouses wish they could revisit is the way that various assets are valued. For example, while the family home holds a great deal of emotional value and can be a solid investment, a house also requires maintenance costs, and when it is time to sell there will be costs associated with that transaction. By fully understanding the current and estimated future value and cost of each asset, the decision-making process becomes easier.

As with any major financial undertaking, going through a divorce requires patience, time and active participation. While many California spouses may dread delving into the financial aspects of their household, doing so will result in a more favorable divorce outcome. In addition, the experience could also help individuals structure their budgeting and planning for their lives as singles.

Source: The Courier of Montgomery County, "Financial concerns during a divorce," Byron W. Ellis, May 11, 2013

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