Going through a divorce can be emotionally devastating, to the point that you feel depressed, anxious, and have difficulty concentrating. When your mind is not functioning properly, you may make mistakes that you will later regret. Here are some common divorce mistakes to watch out for.
Relying on the wrong advice. Your recently-divorced cousin in Texas and your twice-divorced aunt in Indiana may have all kinds of advice for you. But the divorce laws in those states are different than the laws in Illinois. Listen to your local lawyer when it comes to matters of the law and the court procedures in your county. You may also want to consult a certified public accountant or certified divorce financial analyst to help you with financial projections and tax implications.
Keeping the house without understanding all associated costs. You may love your home and neighborhood, or just not want the hassle of moving. But before you agree to keep your marital home, make sure you create a budget that includes all of the home’s expenses, including the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, lawn mowing, snow removal, and other maintenance expenses. Consider the age of all of the appliances and what it will cost you to repair or replace them if they break. Do not keep the home unless you are sure you will be able to afford it.
Failing to keep what was yours before the marriage. If you have been married for a long time, you may believe that you have to split everything you own with your spouse. However, you are entitled to keep non-marital assets that you owned prior to marriage, such as retirement savings and investments. The investment firm that holds your accounts should be able to access historical records showing the value of your assets at the time you married. Inheritances and personal gifts, including your engagement and wedding rings, are also generally your separate property that you should not have to divide in a divorce.
Forgetting to separate all of your financial affairs. Be sure that your spouse’s name is removed as a beneficiary on your retirement accounts and insurance policies. Close any joint accounts or have them switched to your name alone, including checking and savings accounts, investment or brokerage accounts, credit cards, utility bills, cell phone accounts, Amazon, Netflix, etc. You do not want to give your ex any opportunity to run up bills that you may have to pay. You also need to have assets like cars, boats, and real estate retitled into one person’s name.
One way to reduce the stress of divorce is to choose a Lombard divorce attorney that you feel comfortable with and feel you can trust. Call Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.
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