Money can be one of the most stressful elements of a divorce. Divorcing spouses often worry about financial details like paying child support and dividing assets; they can also be anxious about how much the divorce itself will cost.
If finances are a concern for you, it is important to avoid missteps that can have particularly costly consequences.
Gearing up for a fight
One of the fastest ways to drain your savings in a divorce is by making it as contentious as possible. There are different types of divorce in Massachusetts, and pursuing one that is combative and bitter can extend the process and all but ensure it goes to court.
Uncontested, no-fault divorces can cost less and move faster. Further, negotiating divorce-related matters through mediation or collaborative divorce can allow parties to avoid many of the costs associated with litigating a divorce.
Letting your emotions control the process
People are often experiencing powerful emotions during a divorce. They may feel sad, angry, resentful, depressed or guilty. However, it is crucial to not let these emotions control you. Too often, people allow their desires to hurt or punish each other take over, making it difficult to reach agreements.
To avoid this, focus on making rational decisions that are in your best interests now and in the future. It is also wise to refrain from harassing or bad-mouthing the other person.
Making assumptions about the legal process
Often, people going through a divorce talk to friends or family who have gone through the process. People also reach out on social media or submit questions to online forums trying to gain insight into their legal options.
However, despite the best intentions, these people can be sources of misinformation.
Everyone’s experience is different, and no two divorces are the same, so it is critical that you not make any decisions or assumptions about your divorce based on someone else’s. And unless a person has family law experience, he or she can misinterpret laws and legal options, creating unrealistic or unwise expectations.
Divorce can be stressful and overwhelming, and it can be easy to make mistakes in the interest of saving time or money. However, avoiding these common missteps and seeking legal guidance can allow you to protect yourself financially and otherwise.