While divorce isn't easy on anyone, it's clear that men and women handle divorce differently. It is now a fact that over half of marriages end in divorce, so if this is currently your reality, you are no longer in the minority. While that may be of some solace, divorce is still painful, and it's incredibly easy to make life-altering mistakes during this emotional time. Finances require your greatest attention during a divorce as you won't be granted a do-over when you realize what you've left on the table. Here are 5 of the biggest money mistakes women make when divorcing.
As a woman in a marriage, you can prepare yourself by securing access to cash that can be used for expenses of your choosing. You should set up a separate bank account and maintain a credit card in your own name, but these shouldn't be joint accounts that could potentially be frozen by a spouse. Also, you'll want to keep copies of all financial records in a secure location that can't be accessed by your husband.
It's important that you know what you and your husband own as well as understand what you are entitled to under your state's divorce law. If the wife is left out of the financial loop, or if there are hidden assets, a divorce could turn into a prolonged process.
Not thinking long-term
It's understandable to want a divorce to be done and over with, but this can be a risky mistake. Long-term income, retirement, and tax consequences should be weighed when considering any financial settlement in a divorce.
Allowing emotions to enter the picture
Again, women are much more likely to opt for conflict avoidance and allow emotions to enter the picture far too much in divorce cases. Unfortunately, this short-term emotional relief can have long-term negative financial consequences.
Not consulting with an attorney
Some husbands try to convince their soon-to-be ex-wives to "just work things out" between the two of them and sign on the dotted line. This is the surest way to end up with far less than you're entitled to. To protect your interests, you need an attorney who represents your interests alone.
While divorce can be emotionally devastating, it can also be a period of great opportunity. For many women, this is a chance for a fresh start and a new chapter with endless possibilities. Yet, this is only possible if planned properly. Even if you didn't give finances top billing during your marriage, it's time to make a change because these common mistakes can be costly. Contact the Law Office of Keith B. Schulefand with any questions about your divorce needs or to schedule a free consultation.