Is a divorce on the horizon? Avoid a few mistakes

Even savvy people are prone to making common mistakes during a divorce. For instance, they may let emotions cloud their judgment.

Lawyers see many of the same mistakes in people going through a divorce. For example, a wife or husband may try to move a significant sum of money out of a joint account right before announcing the divorce. Such moves can prove costly down the road. Here are a few mistakes for divorcing couples to sidestep.

Living life as if nothing is happening

Except for very lucky and wealthy people, divorce has a huge impact on finances. Decreases in areas such as credit card charges and vacations are often necessary. It is best to be financially prudent so that there is no hole (or only a small hole) to climb out of later.

Allowing emotions to rule

There is no denying that divorce is the most emotional time of many men's and women's lives. However, allowing emotions to overtake everything else tends to lead to bad decision making. For instance, a spouse who feels guilty about his or her addiction might let the other person have everything. Similarly, a spouse who is angry about an issue such as cheating may alienate his or her children from their other parent.

Not documenting

Spouses tend to share a lot of assets such as houses, cars and bank accounts. It is important that each spouse have a clear idea of what the assets are. However, many do not play fair and may change passwords, locking the other person out of accounts. Therefore, it is imperative that both spouses have hard, paper copies of tax returns, asset valuations, retirement plan statements and much more.

Focusing on the wrong things

Sometimes, divorces stem from affairs, drug addictions or alcohol addictions. Other times, the couple may just have grown too far apart. No matter the case, drama or its cousin, conflict, is likely at some point during a divorce. It is a mistake to focus too much on drama and conflict, especially when children are in the picture. Many separating couples turn to meditation to resolve key issues.

Forgetting to update information

Suppose the wife was granted one car in the divorce, but she forgets to update the title that has both spouses' names on it. In practice, such lapses are not always a big deal, but they can turn out to be if the person who forgot dies. In the scenario above, the wife may have intended for the car to go to her sister, but her ex-husband now has dibs on it.

Divorce is a time when people deal with many issues. An attorney can help sift through them all.