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Are You Making These Mistakes In Your Rhode Island Divorce?

Emotional turmoil is, by nature, inherent in divorce. Even if the decision to divorce was yours, it doesn’t make the process any easier. If you’re like most couples, you entered into marriage with hopes and dreams for the future. It’s easy to see why it’s upsetting when the life you planned doesn’t go according to plan. 

The ability to be cool, calm and collected during stressful times is a skill that some excel at and others struggle with. If you find it challenging to don a poker face in times of emotional turmoil, you’ll have to keep reminding yourself that divorce is an area where you need to keep your emotions in check. Failing to do so can lead to adverse outcomes including errors in judgment, poor financial decisions, and a lengthy, expensive court battle. 

Whether you’ve only begun to consider divorce as a possibility or you’re in the midst of divorce proceedings, understanding the common mistakes made during a divorce is vital. Knowledge is power and the more you avoid these missteps, the smoother your divorce will go. For immediate help regarding your divorce, contact us today. 

Without further ado, here are the top five mistakes people make in divorce and how to avoid them. 

Mistake #1: You’re Unsure About The Details of Your Marital Estate

If your spouse handles the finances, it’s time to assume a more active role in this area. In order for you to obtain a fair and equitable division of assets, you must have a comprehensive understanding of your finances and your marital estate. The latter is a term used to describe any assets obtained during the duration of your marriage. 

The following documents will help you gain clarity on your financial standing:

  • Bank account statements
  • Retirement account statements
  • Investment accounts
  • Tax returns
  • Real estate deeds
  • Vehicle titles
  • Loan documents
  • Insurance policies
  • Credit card statements

With access to these documents, your attorney will help you understand what you’re entitled to in your divorce. 

Mistake #2: Attempting to Hide Assets From Your Spouse

Resist the urge to hide or fail to disclose financial information. The temptation is never worth the risk, even if you think there’s only a slight chance you’ll be found out. Whether it’s your stake in a family business, assets in an overseas bank account, luxury items or something else, you’re legally required to report any assets obtained during your marriage in your divorce proceedings.

Failure to report income, property, business valuations, stocks and other financial information can result in harsh sanctions from the court. In the end, you may receive much less than you anticipated as a result of lying or not-disclosing financial information. It’s never worth the risk. 

Mistake #3: You’ve Decided To Stay In The Family Home, No Matter What

Often, we become attached to our houses and hope to stay put regardless of the financial implications. If you find yourself set on staying in the family home, dig deeper to see if the decision is an emotional one or one based on logic. 

To figure out the root of your decision, make a list of the costs associated with owning, running and caring for your home. This includes the monthly mortgage, utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance and more.  If that number looks intimidating or causes you to rethink your decision, there’s a good chance that your emotions were clouding your judgment. 

In addition to the normal expenses, there are often hidden costs associated with staying in the family house, including:

  • Paying your spouse for their share of equity in the home. If you’re awarded the house in a divorce, your spouse is still entitled to their fair share of equity. This is handled a number of ways, unique to each divorce. In some divorces, repayment of equity means agreeing to take a lesser share of another asset. 
  • Remortgaging your home. If you end up with the house, you’ll be granted a limited amount of time to obtain a new mortgage, one without your ex’s name on it. Consider your ability to get a mortgage on your own and the cost of doing so. Have the interest rates increased? You’ll have to factor that in when you calculate your monthly payment.

The bottom line is, there’s always an upfront cost associated with staying in the house, as well as hidden costs that you might not consider. To ensure your future financial well-being, make sure you’re confident that you can handle the cost on your own. 

Mistake #4: Discussing Your Divorce on Social Media

Resist the urge to discuss your divorce on social media. Doing so can and often does result in adverse consequences. Remember, whatever you post on social media, even if it’s deleted, can often be retrieved. 

Review your social media profiles before you file for divorce. Remove posts that are negative or could be used against you by your spouse. No matter how angry you are at your soon-to-be-ex, do not use social media as a place to rant about the details of your divorce proceedings, custody agreement or finances. 

Check your security settings and limit what people can see. Even if you think your security settings are up to par, always err on the side of caution when posting. Also ask friends and family not to tag you in posts or photos, at least for the time being. You want to make sure your online persona represents you in the best light and isn’t used against you in the divorce proceedings. 

Mistake #5: Not Hiring a Skilled Divorce Attorney

Last but certainly not least is one of the biggest, most costly mistakes we see in divorce. Thinking you can represent yourself in your divorce, retaining the cheapest attorney you can find or opting to use your spouse’s attorney until you can find your own, can and often will result in a much lower settlement than you hoped for. 

We understand the desire to save money, especially during a divorce where both you and your spouse will likely end up with less than you had as a couple. Although it might seem counterintuitive, spending a bit more on an experienced, reputable Rhode Island law firm will often help you save substantially in the long run. Seek out a firm with a proven track record of success in divorce and child custody cases.

Divorce is hard, but the dedicated divorce attorneys from our firm are here to help. We’ve helped hundreds of Rhode Island clients get the divorce settlement and child custody arrangement they want. You can hear what a few of them have to say, here.