Navigating a divorce can be a stressful experience for anyone to go through. Emotions are high, the process may leave you feeling confused, anxious and unsure of the right decisions. If there are children involved, it will most likely heighten all of these experiences and feelings. On top of all of this, you add in the potential financial impact a divorce can have on your future and it is easy to see why going through a divorce is an extremely difficult time for so many.
To assist in reducing the financial impact a divorce may have on your future, we have put together a list of five potentially expensive mistakes to avoid during a divorce.
1) Not Consulting with a Lawyer
Even if the end of your marriage was a mutual decision and you and your ex-partner still have an amicable relationship, forgoing the advice and direction from a lawyer that is experienced in family law can have drastic consequences in the future. A divorce lawyer will help you understand your rights and obligations as well as explain any potential issues. They will review any documents before you sign and prepare any documents on your behalf.
2) Not Knowing Your Family’s Finances
If you are not intimately involved in your household’s finances or if you and your spouse have separate bank accounts and you are not aware of the details of their assets, this can leave you vulnerable when resolving financial issues. In these scenarios, your spouse may be able to hide or liquidate assets without your knowledge. Having information about your family’s expenses, savings, investments, tax filings, financial records and any other information about income and assets will help ensure you are not taken advantage off.
3) Providing Incomplete or Inaccurate Financial Details
During the divorce process, both parties will be asked to provide a full financial disclosure. This information will be used to divide property and assets. Generally speaking in Ontario, a divorcing couple will share everything obtained during their marriage equally. Providing incomplete or inaccurate financial details can lead to additional court costs, and even significant penalties.
4) Letting Your Emotions Take Over
Going through a divorce is an emotional time, especially if you feel your spouse has wronged you. However, it is important not to let these emotions rule your decision making. Going into the process with the idea of getting back at your ex, or fighting aggressively over the division of property or even a specific item can lead to drawn out court proceedings and potentially costing thousands in additional fees. It may be easier said than done, but retaining a family law lawyer can assist you in having someone on your side who will deals with the matter without having emotions take over the decisions while being sympathetic and empathetic to your emotions.
5) Not Updating Your Estate Documents After Your Divorce
Forgetting to update your Will or the beneficiaries on a life insurance plan is a fairly common mistake after a divorce. Even though this may not be top of mind during the divorce proceedings, it is a good idea to setup a meeting with your Wills and Estates law attorney to ensure your estate is left to family members, friends, a new partner, or charity of your choice instead of your ex-spouse.
AGS LAW Professional Corporation has been providing fair, affordable legal representation in Barrie and South Eastern Ontario since 2011. We specialize in family law, real estate law, and paralegal services. Give us a call today 705-735-0003 and let us help you.