Making The Complex

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How to avoid common financially-costly divorce mistakes

It’s easy for divorcing Louisiana couples to get so caught up in feelings of hurt, anger, bitterness and revenge that they let those emotions guide financial decisions around the divorce. That’s why it’s essential to have legal professionals who have a clearer head to advise you on these matters at a time of emotional turmoil for you.

The financial decisions you make during your divorce can impact your and your children’s lives for years to come. For example, divorcing couples often look at the short-term impact of financial decisions rather than the long-term ones. They just want to get things over with as quickly as possible and move on with their lives. They want to keep things as stable as possible for their children.

Deciding what to do with the house is a key example of this. Many people choose to fight to keep the family home because they don’t want further upheaval in their children’s lives or their own. Many people are emotionally attached to their home and the memories made there. However, refinancing to put the home in one person’s name can create a financial burden that’s too heavy for a newly-single person. On the other hand, selling can cost you in capital gains taxes, not to mention fees associated with the sale of a house. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of all alternatives.

Sometimes people are so intent on getting back at their spouse that they make the divorce more contentious and drawn-out than it needs to be. The more you fight over and the more financial and other experts you bring in to help you do that, the costlier your divorce will be. If you and your spouse can work things out civilly, you even may be able to have a mediated divorce. Think about whether what you’re fighting over is worth what it is costing you to do so.

In some cases, couples fight over one or two issues without looking at the big picture. It’s best to look at the settlement as a whole and how it will work for you both now and in the future. Experienced Louisiana family law attorneys can help their clients do that if those clients are willing to listen to them and heed their advice.

Source: USA Today, “5 biggest divorce mistakes financially” Wendy Spencer, CFP, AdviceIQ, Mar. 07, 2015


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