Part two: Can you be too nice in divorce?

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Thursday, June 28, 2012

In our previous post, we wrote about the possibility that some people going through divorce are sometimes too eager for an amicable split; so eager that they might forsake their own interests and make child custody, child support, alimony or property settlement agreements they later regret.

A divorce attorney interviewed for the article said that clients who are eager for amicable divorce are often “naïve” and avoiding “the cold reality that your spouse is not in the position to protect or promote your interests.”

That’s why it’s so important to discuss possible financial agreements with an experienced attorney who understands how to protect your interests today and after your divorce.

The article listed common mistakes made by the “too nice,” including offering to keep the house. In the current tough housing market, keeping the house might not make financial sense.

In many divorces involving couples with children, the wife will offer to live in the house for the sake of the children.

“They’ll take that asset and give up cash or liquid assets in exchange for equity, but nobody’s looked at the numbers to see if they can afford to stay in the home,” one family law attorney said.

Another common mistake: not asking the soon-to-be-former spouse to provide financial documents that verify their claims about the family’s assets.

Sometimes people won’t ask for the documents because they’re afraid to upset the other person by appearing to question their claims.

One of the biggest mistakes: people who figure as long as things are amicable, why drag attorneys into the mix? Of course, that’s an easy way for long-term financial damage to be done by agreeing to unfavorable terms.

Source: Reuters, “Divorce mistakes you can make by being too nice,” Geoff Williams, June 26, 2012

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