When a person decides to divorce their spouse in California, they are often distracted by the emotional trauma that they are left to endure as the result of their newly-ended relationship. As a result, some people make critical mistakes that may not even be noticeable at first but can have a lasting effect on divorce. Some missteps have the potential to prolong the process, compromise a person’s assets and create more stress than was necessary.
One misstep that many procrastinate because they do not realize how risky it is, is to maintain joint accounts despite their separation from their spouse. If a couple makes an informal agreement about who will assume which debts during their divorce, but fail to close their joint account, both names will remain on the account and both will be bound to the debt payments. If the spouse who agreed to make payments does not uphold their end of the agreement, their former partner will suffer the consequences of delinquent payments.
Another mistake is when people neglect to be prompt and thorough in completing the required paperwork. Despite its extensive content, paperwork should be read in its entirety and answered with detail to keep the process efficient. People should also be aware of tax consequences as well, and learn what their options are to reduce how much they will be required to pay.
If people are starting the process of separating from their former spouse, an attorney can help them prepare for the next steps. Legal professionals have experience in navigating the sometimes-difficult process of divorce and can provide input and advice to help people avoid making critical mistakes.
Source: Napa Valley Register, “Liz Weston: 5 divorce mistakes that can cost you,” Liz Weston, Jan. 28, 2019