#1 Not creating a Post-Divorce Budget
After your divorce is finalized, make sure to have a post-divorce budget in place. It is likely that you will not be able to live at the level you were during your marriage. Make sure this budget is realistic and within your financial means. Also, do not include in your budget funds that are receiving from any 401k, pensions and IRA’s. These funds have to go through the process of being moved through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order and normally have a tax attached to it if you take it out too soon.
#2 Not considering Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
Be opened minded when it comes to mediation or late case evaluation. There are many financial benefits to settling in mediation or other alternative dispute methods. One of those is to avoid the high cost of a final trial. Mediation may allow for a better settlement than if you choose to go to trial.
#3 Not Disclosing all financials to the attorney
Make sure that you are disclosing especially all financials to your attorney. If you do not disclose all financials to the attorney, then it does not allow the attorney to properly represent you in your divorce case. This can also lead to a discovery dispute by the opposing party due to failure to disclose financials.
#4 Not complying with Discovery Request
One of the worse battles you can get into during the divorce process is over discovery. A discovery dispute will lead a party to incur a high financial cost. When the initial Discovery Requests come in make sure to turn over the documents and answers that you have in your possession. If you answer the request properly the first round this can avoid a discovery dispute with the opposing party.
#5 Ignoring Settlement Proposals
Make sure to go over any settlement proposals with your lawyer. Settlement Proposals are a good starting point for ironing out the details of the Settlement Agreement. Also, Settlement Proposals normally come with a date that the opposing party are asked to respond by. The Proposal may lead to some issues being agreed upon to help narrow what needs to be discussed in the mediation. This can save you time and money.
#6 Using your Attorney as a Therapist
Your attorney’s job is to guide you through the the legal process of your divorce. The attorney is not an expert in psychology. It would be best to speak with an experienced counselor about your divorce to help guide you through the emotional process.
#7 Being overly-aggressive
An aggressive approach is not always best in the divorce process. In some instances, it can cause more harm than good. Make sure when speaking with the attorney in your consultation to ask them about their approach. A lawyer who has an aggressive instead of a collaborative approach to divorce cases may not have the best relationships with other lawyers or give you a realistic view of the settlement you could receive from the divorce.