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Trying to Be "Nice" During a Divorce Can Actually Create Problems

Couples contemplating divorce are often facing one of the most emotionally charged events of their lives. Not only are they dealing with the ending of their marriages, but many couples must also tackle the difficult tasks of property division and child custody. Because of these often complicated issues, many couples are advised to be as amicable as possible when going through a divorce - advice that sometimes causes more harm than good.

Although it seems almost axiomatic that when couples handle their divorces amicably they are more likely to come to sound decisions, that is not always the case.

For example, many experts have discovered that many divorcing couples make bad financial decisions simply because they do not want to make waves - which can easily lead to problems later since they originally skimmed over the details.

When both parties are trying to be friendly, mistakes can occur. So, if you are going through a divorce, and want the marriage to end amicably, here are some common mistakes/issues to be on the look-out for:

  • Who Keeps the House? Given the current state of the housing market, it may not be a good idea to keep the family home, even if you believe it will be good for the children. Simply offering, or giving up, the home is exchange for other assets may not be financially sound without reviewing all the numbers behind the move.
  • What is the Family's Financial Worth? Some couples are so scared that they may upset their future ex-spouse that they fail to ask for documents regarding estate planning or retirement accounts, meaning they may miss out on assets that they have a rightful claim to.
  • Do I Need an Attorney? Often, couples think that since they are going through an amicable divorce that they do not need an attorney, which is often a bad idea. It is not only a good idea to have an attorney to help deal with complicated financial issues - such as IRAs, 401Ks, and the taxes associated with each - but also to determine statutory set payments such as child support.

Divorces can be difficult, but even if you want to end your marriage on good terms, you need to be aware of the dangers of simply being too "nice" - doing so may not only endanger your financial well-being, but that of your children.

Source: Reuters, "Divorce mistakes you can make by being too nice," Geoff Williams

Our firm often handles situations in which divorcing couples face difficulties in dividing assets. If you would like to learn more about our family law and divorce practice, please visit our Texas Asset Protection page.

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