Filing for divorce is an emotionally-charged action that can lead to repercussions that the parties will experience for years to come. That’s why it is so important to make all the right moves to get the best possible outcome going forward.
With that in mind, below are some potentially disastrous mistakes that couples make when filing for divorce. Being aware of these can help you to avoid them in your own divorce process.
Filing the petition at an inopportune time
You may feel like you can no longer remain another day in your marriage. But that does not necessarily mean that you should file for divorce at this time. Certainly, no one who is in fear of their spouse attacking them or harming their children should continue to live with the threat of abuse. However, it is possible to remove yourself physically from the home without filing for divorce.
Why wait? It’s related to asset preservation, especially for the spouse who earns a lower (or no) salary. For instance, typically, the value of a 401k is set upon the date of separation. Filing earlier in the year could result in a smaller share of the account than if the individual who filed waited until it had accrued more later in the year.
Not serving your spouse with the divorce petition
Even if the two of you appear to be in accord regarding seeking a divorce, failing to serve the defendant spouse with the petition can create legal hassles later. For one, they can later claim to be blindsided and have never discussed or known about a pending divorce. This could cause the divorce clock to be reset while you re-file your petition and have your soon-to-be ex-spouse served with the petition to divorce.
Being hazy about financial figures
To walk away with the optimum settlement after your divorce, it is imperative to have access to hard figures. You will need to know exact salary figures, bank account amounts, expenses and assets to negotiate the settlement that will allow you to walk away from the marriage with sufficient resources to begin your newly-single life.
Your Bellaire family law attorney will use the discovery process to seek the numbers you need. You can assist them by obtaining as much of this information yourself prior to filing for divorce.
Trying to settle a score in the divorce
Your spouse may have been a narcissistic serial cheater, but bringing your anger and pain into every debate will only drive up the cost of the proceedings for both parties. Remember, each dollar that goes toward court costs and attorneys’ fees is one less buck you can split.
Follow your attorney’s advice and lead about when to attack and when to back off. It can wind up saving you a lot of money.