There are a number of things you should keep in mind to avoid when going through your New Jersey divorce. Keep reading and reach out to our experienced Bergen County divorce attorneys. We are on your side.
What to avoid during the divorce process:
Becoming a Financial Victim
One of the greatest mistakes divorcing spouses can make is being in the dark regarding finances. If your spouse has always managed all of the financial decisions in your household and you do not have access to any of the information detailing your and your spouse’s income and assets, your spouse will have an unjust advantage over you once you start to settle the financial issues in your divorce.
If you believe your spouse is planning a divorce, obtain as much information as you are able to now. Create copies of important financial records including account statements (eg., savings, brokerage, and retirement) and all other data that connects your marital lifestyle (eg., checking accounts, charge card statements, tax returns).
Not Considering Mediation
If you and your spouse are able to work together to come to a fair agreement on most or all of the issues in your divorce (eg., child custody, child support, alimony, and property division), selecting mediation to settle your divorce case can save you and your partner thousands of dollars in legal fees and emotional stress. The mediation process uses a neutral third-party mediator that meets with the divorcing couple and assists them in reaching an agreement on the matters in their divorce. Mediation is entirely voluntary; the mediator will not act as a judge or insist on a certain outcome or agreement.
Mediation also gives divorcing couples a lot of flexibility, in terms of making their own decisions about what works best for their family, compared with the standard hostile legal process, which involves a court trial where a judge makes all the determinations.
Mediation, however, is not for everyone. For instance, if one spouse is concealing assets or income, and refuses to reveal this, you may have to head to court where a judge can order your spouse to comply. Or, if one spouse is unwilling to compromise, mediation may not be the best option.
Hiring an Aggressive Lawyer to Punish Your Spouse
You should not do this for two reasons. First, except in especially heinous cases, most courts will not punish your spouse financially for being a bad individual.
Second, employing an attorney to penalize your spouse will cost you because your attorney will need to increase the number of hours spent on your case. Increased attorney hours imply higher divorce costs, and higher divorce costs suggest there will be fewer assets and cash remaining for you and your family. It is in your best interest to remove the emotion when making decisions for your divorce.
Failing to Update Estate Documents
It is not uncommon for people to forget to modify the beneficiaries on their life insurance policies, IRAs, and will(s), so the estates they wanted to leave to their children, new partner, or favorite charity could rather go to their ex-spouse. If you are going through a divorce, talk to a family law attorney to discover the changes you should make to your estate plan during and/or post-divorce.