Financial pitfalls to avoid in divorce-related issues

Maryland readers who are preparing to file for divorce should be aware of several common mistakes that could lead to significant financial problems within the divorce process. By moving forward with an eye toward potential pitfalls, spouses are better prepared to make savvy and logical decisions that work to further their own best interests in regard to divorce-related issues. Which leads to one of the most common mistakes people make during divorce: letting emotions rule the day.

The end of a marriage is often an emotionally charged time, and in many cases there are factors involved that are deeply personal and hurtful. However, allowing one’s emotions to dictate their financial decision-making is never a good approach, and can lead to serious negative consequences. One way to avoid misplacing one’s focus is to rely on the advice of professional advisors to guide the process. For example, many spouses focus exclusively on retaining the family home, when in fact their financial interests would be far better served by selling the home and downsizing in the years immediately following a split.

Another common mistake involves overspending on one’s children. Divorce can be difficult on kids, but trying to address concerns by buying excessive gifts or taking costly trips is never the best approach. This is a time when children need to feel supported and secure, and spending more time with them is the best way to achieve those goals. Kids won’t remember gadgets or toys acquired during a divorce, but they will be able to recall spending time with both parents and being reassured that they are loved, no matter the structure of their family.

Perhaps the best piece of financial advice for Maryland couples going through a divorce is to remember that the end of a marriage is a process, and that the process has a distinct end. Focusing on the details of divorce-related issues may be time-consuming and stressful, but the ramifications of those decisions can greatly shape the lives that each spouse will move on to as single individuals. By framing divorce in this way, not only can spouses make better financial decisions, but overall stress levels can also be reduced, which is a benefit that is priceless.

Source: Ellwood City News, “Financial Concerns During a Divorce,” Robert A. Powell, May 2, 2013

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