Every divorce is different and the decision to file for divorce can either be a quick call or a lifelong challenge. Either way, divorce is never fun, easy, or free of emotional entanglement. The right Michigan divorce attorney can help you obtain a fair settlement as quickly and inexpensively as possible. In fact, a Michigan divorce can pave your way to a much brighter and happier future. However, that depends on your willingness to work with your attorney and your ability to avoid the following common divorce mistakes.
Glossing Over the Details and Paperwork
A Michigan divorce attorney will require several specific tax and legal forms to ensure you can legally file for divorce, so you’ll need to prepare as much on your end as possible. Some necessary documents include social security numbers and tax statements for both you and your spouse; balances and account numbers for all personal and household financial accounts; documentation on all household repairs; and payments and existing amounts due on major marital assets such as your home, vehicles or boats. Knowing who will be paying for medical costs for the kids, how much tuition help or child support to expect, and even if you’re entitled to spousal support are important details you can’t afford to ignore.
Ignoring Tax Responsibilities and Leaving Joint Accounts Open
An equitable divorce settlement may include division of real estate, retirement plans, various, investments, and even spousal support arrangements. But what looks great on paper now may lead to serious tax implications later to a newly single tax filer. Discuss options with an accountant to see whether holding on to the investment or cashing out early makes more financial sense. And know that as of January 2019, spousal support payments are neither deductible nor taxable income. Also, be sure to close or cancel joint creditors prior to filing for divorce to avoid paying your ex’s bills later.
Maintaining Unrealistic Post-Divorce Lifestyle Expectations
Too many people think or assume their lifestyles won’t change at all after divorce, but that can’t be further from the truth. A legal and fair divorce divides assets, custody, and financial responsibilities. You may be responsible for the same amount of bills and childcare arrangements on your end, but suddenly there’s half the income. Sometimes there’s less or a little more, but juggling and careful planning strategies are almost always required. Think about whether your current expenditures meet your current and 5-year financial goals and what they say to your children. And then adjust as necessary.
Trying to Pay Back or Get Revenge on Your Ex
Approximately 50% of those in relationships admit social media negatively affects their relationships. Many spouses are connected to mutual family members, friends, and even coworkers or employers. So it’s common to lash out and try to get revenge or ruin a partner’s reputation during or after a breakup. But that can come back and bite you as well with future financial and even potential legal implications. So, avoid sharing your breakup gossip online at all costs.
Entering a Rebound or Poorly Planned Remarriage
Emotions are raw upon leaving a failed marriage and a new relationship can seem like everything you’ve always hoped for. That rebound effect can draw divorcees in like moths to a flame and lead to reckless remarriages. Consecutive marriages are statistically proven to have higher failure rates than first marriages for many reasons. Rebounds are a major cause as are the challenges of blending families and residual guilt and baggage from the couple’s previous commitments. That’s not to say a future marriage can’t be possible. But focus on yourself first before bringing another partner into the fold. Contact your Michigan divorce attorney for more help or suggestions on how to make the most of your new freedom.