Avoiding Financial Mistakes During a Divorce

Even the most amicable legal separation or divorce in New Mexico has potential pitfalls to avoid. One common area people make mistakes in is finances; it’s all too easy to lose track of dollars and cents when emotions are involved. Check out the following financial mistakes people often make in divorce so you can avoid these common missteps.

Forgetting About Assets

It’s easy to forget assets.  Especially “out of sight, out of mind” ones such as retirement accounts. Everything from memberships to country clubs to stock options and pensions should be addressed in your divorce. Make a list of all these assets for your attorney, and if you think there are others you don’t know about, be sure to let your attorney know.

Assuming the Split is 50/50

Community property division is the standard in New Mexico, but this doesn’t mean the property has to be divided 50/50 between the spouses. Many factors, such as the length of the marriage and the present and future earning potential of the spouses, come into play. The court will accept – any property division they believe is fair given the circumstances, so keep that in mind.  However, if you end up having a trial the court will divide the assets and debts 50/50.

Failing to Account for Financial Security Post-Divorce

Once your divorce decree is finalized, it can be tough and costly to change it. That’s why you want to invest energy and time into the divorce settlement process so you end up with a result you can live with. Taxes and other implications over the long term are often overlooked during the settlement process. What seems reasonable today could prove unfair and disastrous for you tomorrow, so if you’re unclear about your options, speak to an experienced financial professional about the settlement before you finalize it.

Not Thinking About Your Future

You can’t know exactly how your divorce will resolve itself, but one thing is clear: your life will definitely change. When you start the divorce process, you need to think about what you can afford and where you will live. While you may want to stay in the marital home, for example, you have be realistic about whether you’ll be able to afford it on your own. Even if you’re going to receive child support or spousal support, you can’t rely on that to pay the bills because it’s always possible something will happen to your spouse and he or she will be unable to make those payments. Should your spouse lose his or her job, for example, and take a lower-paying one, your child and/or spousal support could be reduced.

Waiting to Speak to an Attorney

When you’re first considering divorce, you should speak with an attorney experienced in family law. Some people hesitate to consult with an attorney because they’re simply not ready and may not have even talked to their spouse yet. However, the sooner you have an idea about what the impact of a divorce could be, the more informed choices you’ll make. There is nothing wrong with doing some research on the web yourself, but it’s unlikely that will answer all your questions, and it will be harder to find answers to questions that are more specific to certain aspects of your situation. On top of that, information on the web can be misleading or inaccurate, so it’s not something you should use as a foundation for these types of decisions.
Considering all the aspects of your financial situation and the impact divorce will have on it, now and in the future, is the best way to protect your interests in your case. While it can be tough to think ahead when you’re dealing with divorce, it will pay off in the end.