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Financial mistakes during divorce set stage for hardship after

Ending a marriage is a complicated legal process. For many divorced Washington residents, the decision to end a marriage may have come quickly, but the process of untangling lives and assets probably took a much longer time to settle. Anyone currently in the middle of a divorce can learn from the experiences of those who have gone before them and avoid the following common mistakes that many spouses have made during a divorce.

Sometimes spouses will trade all or part of their legitimate claim to marital assets in exchange for a desired arrangement, such as child custody or increased visitation rights. This common mistake means spouses give up what is rightfully theirs to gain something they probably would have gotten anyway. It is always important to look at the bigger picture, which is the future, and look out for tricks like this that can lead to unfair and unjust settlements.

Another common mistake during property division is underestimating financial needs after divorce. Oftentimes, because emotions run high during the process, many spouses want to end the process as quickly as possible without considering their future needs. Divorcing individuals should remember, however, that their financial future is at stake and leaving money on the table can put them at a disadvantage once they are single again.

Divorcing spouses should also note that debts, like assets, are divided during the process. Some debts can come as a surprise if a spouse hid them during the marriage. Spouses should have a clear idea about all debts before filing for divorce in order to know how they will be divided and paid.

Source: Time.com, "The 7 biggest money mistakes that divorcing women make," Lili A. Vasileff, July 9, 2014

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