Common Mistakes to Avoid During the Divorce Process
By Heather Baker-Mushkatel on March 29, 2013
Each year, about 1.4 million U.S. couples go through the divorce process. While some divorcing spouses emerge from the process in a fairly good position, others face financial and legal headaches that may last for years.
Why the difference? Not all couples take the time to learn about and avoid the most common financial mistakes in the divorce process. An experienced Phoenix divorce attorney can help you recognize and avoid problems such as:
- Lack of cash. The divorce process can mean additional costs, even if you choose options like mediation. For instance, you may need to support two households, work with appraisers, or pay for therapy or other bills. If you are considering divorce, cutting costs now can help you in the future.
- Poor record-keeping. From a financial standpoint, getting a divorce is similar to splitting up a business partnership. Just like you would not split up a business without documenting everything, you should not enter the divorce process without all the documentation and records you can obtain.
- Overlooking assets. Commonly-overlooked assets include vacation and sick leave, frequent-flyer miles, and prepaid insurance policies. Even if you do not want half of a particular asset, document it; your half may be valuable in trade for another asset you do want.
- Ignoring the tax consequences. Agreeing to lump-sum alimony or to pay the mortgage until the house sells may cost you when tax season comes. Talking to your attorney or a tax professional early in the divorce process may save you a substantial sum in the future.
- Hesitating to hire an attorney. The advice of an experienced divorce attorney can help you avoid many of the legal and financial pitfalls of divorce, protecting your interests and allowing you to exit the marriage on a secure financial footing. Do not hesitate to speak to the attorneys at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, about your Arizona divorce.
Heather Baker-Mushkatel is an Arizona native who focuses in the area of family at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. Heather also has substantial experience in criminal defense law, including a background as a public defender in Maricopa County. Heather earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and obtained her Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. She is a highly active member of state and local bar associations who has served on several panels to educate young lawyers and law students.