Financial security and stability can be difficult to regain in the aftermath of a divorce. People are living on less household income; they have legal and living expenses they didn't have before; the costs of paying for credit cards, car payments and healthcare can increase significantly.
Because of all the financial obligations that may fall on you after divorce, it is important to secure a fair settlement. However, in order to do this, you need to avoid some costly missteps during the property division process.
Whether you are tempted to hide assets out of fear or anger, doing so can be a big mistake. During a divorce, you sign legal documentation verifying the accuracy of your financial information; if you lie on that documentation, you can face steep legal and financial penalties.
In many marriages, one person tends to take over the management of finances. If that was not you, then you need to familiarize yourself with your marital estate. Review your tax payments over the years, review your bank records and get a thorough picture of your marital expenditures. Being prepared and informed can level the playing field and make it easier to negotiate a settlement.
Having unrealistic expectations
Do not expect to walk away from your divorce with everything while your ex gets nothing, or vice versa. In North Carolina, the courts comply with equitable distribution laws, meaning your marital assets will be divided in a manner deemed equitable, or fair. In many cases, this division is roughly 50/50. If you start the process expecting 100 percent of your estate, then it can take you much longer to get to a place where negotiations can be effective.
Assuming you have to know everything
The property division element of divorce is overwhelming, from valuing property to negotiating the division of complex assets. But before you assume you have to figure this out all on your own, remember that you can work with financial professionals who have skills and experience in this area that you may not have. You can also work with an attorney who can help you exit a divorce with the settlement you deserve.