Although all divorce cases are completely different depending on the people and circumstances involved, the most common mistakes while negotiating a divorce settlement include:
1. Not seeking legal advice
This must be number one on the list. Divorce can be a complicated process. Therefore, it is essential you take advice from a qualified and experienced family solicitor. They will explain the options over to you, talk you through the detail, guide you through the process and, ultimately, help you negotiate the fairest settlement.
2. Not properly considering each spouse’s long-term financial needs
It is vital both parties properly consider their future financial needs during their negotiation, not push for what suits them best at the time of the divorce. These deliberations should cover future living expenses, potential healthcare costs, and retirement needs.
The current economic situation should not be ignored either. These could have a significant bearing on both parties’ future financial situations.
3. Trying to rush your settlement through
Divorce negotiations are undeniably stressful. Even though it will be painful and draining, you cannot afford to rush your settlement.
You owe it to yourself and your family to negotiate a settlement that is both fair and reasonable. Rushing the process will inevitably mean something vital is missed or miscalculated which will be to the detriment of one party at some point in the future.
4. Focusing solely on the financial aspects
Divorce will also have a serious impact on you, your spouse and, most importantly, any children involved. If you focus solely on the finances, you will not give key emotional and practical factors the consideration they deserve.
Who will have custody of the children and on what basis?
How and when will your spouse have access to your children?
Do you need to make more complex parenting arrangements for both the children and each parent?
What will your respective living arrangements be?
5. Failing to disclose all assets (and debts)
When you enter divorce proceedings it is essential both parties provide a full and accurate disclosure of all their assets and all their debts. If you are found to be hiding anything it will not only prolong the divorce proceedings but also lead to serious legal consequences for the person attempting to hide their assets.
6. Being too emotionally attached to particular assets
With emotions running high, it is sometimes difficult to make decisions based on logic rather than emotions during a divorce.
When these decisions involve specific assets – the family home or even the car, inherited jewelry, or valuable works of art – it can often lead to unrealistic expectations and a level of financial infeasibility that can derail the negotiations and add costly and stressful delays to the process.