Things can go wrong with a divorce through mistakes even where it seems there is agreement that the marriage is over and there is no dispute over who gets what. There are a number of mistakes which are commonly made which can lead to problems. We signpost them here.
Mistake 1: Believing that the present co-operative and friendly position will continue.
There is often a change in attitude when the reality of the divorce and living apart kicks in. The sense of responsibility towards you will be lost and can be replaced by selfish self interest. The emotional tie is no longer there and is often replaced by hostility.
Mistake 2: Not fully thinking through your financial needs.
Attempts at fairness can lead to you underestimating how much your financial situation will change after the divorce. Household expenses will be yours alone. You may be in a state of optimism for the future or you may be depressed at the breakdown of your marriage. Neither conditions are suited to rationally working out your needs and you should discuss them with someone qualified to advise.
Mistake 3: Assuming that everything has to be divided up equally.
A 50/50 split is the starting point for dividing up the matrimonial assets but there is much more to it than that. There are a whole range of factors that have to be considered as explained in our financial settlement section. These would be assessed by a judge if the court was asked to decide and you should always take them into account and take professional advice where appropriate.
Mistake 4: Over-estimating your entitlement because of your partner’s conduct.
You may well think that your spouse has to pay for the way he has treated you in the financial settlement. That is not the law however and his or her conduct is most unlikely to have any relevance to how the assets are divided up.
Mistake 5: Not anticipating disaster.
What if you lose your job or some other disaster strikes. If you are dependent on your former spouse for maintenance this would stop if he died or became unable to pay. Think through the worst case scenario and what provision could be made for the unexpected. Make provision and insure against it.
Mistake 6: Fighting to keep a home you can’t afford.
There is no point trying to keep a home you can’t afford to own in your new financial circumstances. You do not want a mill stone around your neck of a mortgage that will mean you can’t get on and enjoy your new life. Remember that if you argue for the house, the transfer of your spouse’s share will need to be balanced out by you transferring other assets or giving up other entitlements.
Mistake 7: Not disclosing all your assets.
It is a big mistake for which you could pay heavily to try and deceive your spouse (and ultimately the court) by giving false information and concealing assets. The truth will out and if, as it likely would, end up in court your position will be undermined. Don’t get involved in sneaky tactics.
Mistake 8: Not taking advice when needed.
There is a lot at stake and your divorce settlement will be final. It can be a false economy not to at least talk through the position with an experienced matrimonial lawyer. To get the help of an experienced matrimonial lawyer click here