As most anyone who has been entangled in a divorce in Florida will tell you it is rarely easy or smooth. Tensions can mount, and poor decisions are made when tempers flare, only to be regretted later. When you consider the array of overwhelming details which must be decided, it’s really no wonder couples end up making mistakes during their divorce. To have fewer regrets later, consider the following tips which you should avoid doing amid your divorce proceedings.
1.Do not increase your debt in any way. Let’s face it, divorce in Florida can be a costly process. Even for the simplest uncontested divorce, both parties will likely pay their attorney from $1,500-$3,000 each—and few divorces are that simple. Aside from divorce attorney fees, at least one spouse will need money to begin a new life including securing a home which can include first and last month’s rent, utility deposits and the actual costs of moving your things. And don’t forget, instead of one set of bills on two salaries you will now be dealing with two sets of bills and an equitable distribution of your marital assets. Start practicing frugal living from the moment you decide to divorce, and don’t take on any additional debt.
2. Do not give in just to get out. Even if your marriage has become untenable, don’t be deprived of your financial future so you can escape the stress of your divorce. Make copies of every sort of financial documentation in your possession, which relates to your finances as a couple, putting them in a safe place. Credit card statements, pension fund statements, tax returns, bank statements, mortgage information—these can all be hugely important during the divorce. If your marriage and subsequent divorce is especially contentious, you may be tempted to hand over the assets just to be done with the marriage. You will almost certainly regret such a decision down the line. Remember that you are engaging in negotiations which will affect your future and that of your children for a long time to come.
3. Don’t think taxes don’t matter. Taxes are a huge issue during a divorce, not only in the filing of your personal income taxes for the year, but also in capital gains taxes on your home if you are the one who gets to keep it, taxes on alimony payments, and the important issue of who gets to claim the children as dependents for tax purposes. If you are close to the end of the year when you decide to divorce, you might want to wait until the New Year rolls around for tax purposes. It is a good idea to consult a tax professional before you start divorce proceedings.
4. Do not think you are “fine” and don’t need a family counselor. Seeing a counselor can be an enormous benefit in getting through the emotions brought on by the divorce. A therapist can help you cope with anger directed at your spouse, fear of the future, depression, and loneliness, teaching you the necessary steps to enable you to look forward to your new life. Change is hard under the best circumstances, and a reputable therapist will be able to help you and your children come through the divorce in the best way possible. Our website lists several qualified and experienced therapists, that we can recommend, who specialize in family matters.
5. Do not overlook mediation or collaborative divorce as a possible alternative to a traditional divorce:- Typically, a collaborative divorce employs the services of not only divorce attorneys, but coaches and therapists who specialize in divorce who can help lessen the stress of divorce as well as divide the property fairly. In most cases, collaborative divorce is much less antagonistic than traditional divorce. Mediation involves a divorce mediator who can also be an attorney that specializes in divorce mediation. The goal of the mediator is to aid the two parties in reaching a mutually acceptable divorce settlement. Mediation can be a continuing process, and your attorney will be a vital asset during this time, as you work on negotiating terms during the mediation process. Many people feel they are way too angry with their spouse to even consider mediation, but you could be surprised at how well it can work. Besides, most Courts, in the State of Florida, require the two parties to mediate before Trial, in an effort to resolve their divorce issues amicably.
6. Do not forget to change your Last Will and Testament as well as other important papers. Make sure you have not only changed your will but the beneficiaries on all your life insurance policies as well. Whatever property you are awarded in the divorce must have the appropriate name changes, and your home and auto insurance will need to reflect your single status as well.
7. Do not jump into a new relationship. Although this may seem obvious, many people ignore this advice and jump right into a new romantic relationship when they are at their most vulnerable. Experts say you should always wait at least a year before getting involved in any type of romance. Take some time and get some perspective about your divorce. Although loneliness can set in after your divorce, find ways to deal with it rather than getting into an inappropriate relationship.
Divorce is difficult, but it can be made much easier simply by taking a deep breath and making a concerted effort to deal with issues as they come up, get through one day at a time, and realize that a year from now things will look much different.
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Related Articles for additional information:
- 8 Must Know FAQs Before You Hire A Mediation Divorce Lawyer
- Collaborative Divorce In Florida – a New Trend
- Taxes and Divorce
Top 8 Legal Documents to Change After a DivorceAt Eric C. Cheshire, P.A., we will treat you with the utmost compassion and respect. Call us today at (561) 655-8844 to speak with an experienced West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney to discuss the details of your case.