Divorce trials in California can be expensive and time-consuming. Ideally, you’ll want to resolve most of your property division issues through mediation. Continue reading to learn about the five costly mistakes you should avoid during a divorce.
Negotiating without a mediator
Professional mediators facilitate discussions between a divorcing couple to help keep the peace and guide the two parties to creating a fair divorce settlement. They have creative ideas to help the divorcing couple find solutions they are happy with.
Never seeking professional guidance
You may be able to come to a divorce settlement faster when you involve professionals in the process. There are a lot of laws, rules and other information that you would have to research on your own otherwise.
Keeping joint credit accounts open
As soon as you know that you’re getting a divorce, you should close joint credit accounts. If you were to keep the joint credit account open, you would be responsible for any actions your spouse takes on the account. Even after the divorce, the law sees you responsible for marital debts. All debts are marital until your divorce is official under law.
Ignoring the impact of taxes from property division
Some retirement accounts have early withdrawal penalties and taxes involved when you divide them. You should also consider how much an asset will increase in value over time. Rather than liquidating it and dividing it, you may find that you and your spouse can walk away with more money by negotiating for one person to keep a certain asset. A professional can help you make these complex calculations.
Failing to search for hidden assets
You may want to hire a forensic accountant to confirm that your spouse doesn’t have hidden assets. Some people hide their assets through foreign accounts, trusts and transfers to friends and family to hold onto on their behalf.
When you avoid the above costly mistakes, you could walk away from your marriage in a much better position than if you made one or more of these mistakes. Allowing professionals to guide you through mediation is often less expensive than a divorce trial.