The Top Five Mistakes To Avoid When Getting Divorced In Fort Lauderdale

June 27, 2009

Getting divorced in Broward County can be a daunting experience. You are not just breaking up with your spouse, but you are dividing your assets and liabilities and creating a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule with your children. Whether you live in Cooper City, Coral Springs, Plantation or Southwest Ranches, a divorce can be a long and expensive process. By hiring a divorce lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, you can avoid some of the most common and costly mistakes.

Here are the top five mistakes:

Being Unprepared

A divorce attorney charges by the hour. The rate can be between $250.00-$400.00 an hour. Your lawyer will need copies of all of your financial and legal documents, including tax returns, bank statements and proof of debt. You can save hundreds of dollars by gathering and organizing the paperwork on your own and providing them to your lawyer in an organized manner.

Not Seeking Financial Advice

Divorcing couples generally split their assets and liabilities down the middle. You need to take into account the short term and long terms tax ramifications. Seeking financial advice from an accountant or financial planner is crucial. If your spouse owns a business, it is a good idea to hire a business appraiser to estimate the value. Otherwise, your spouse could underestimate the firm's worth and walk away with more than his or her fair share.

Asking For The House

One of the most common divorce mistakes women make is fighting for the marital residence. They feel that finding a new place to live and packing up the house will be tougher on the minor children. The problems is that a house carries a tremendous expense. All too often, the wife gives up so much in the settlement to keep the house that she doesn't end up with cash flow to maintain the house. Often times it is better to sell the house and equally split the net proceeds.

Rushing To Court

The quickest way to have high attorney's fees and costs is to go court. A divorce can cost up to $8,000.00 and one that goes to trial can cost $20,000.00. Unless you have a very complicated divorce, a majority of couples are better off reaching a settlement through their lawyers or at mediation.

Failing To Untangle Your Assets

When you are going through a divorce, you want to become financially independent. Establish your own credit and open up your own credit card before you get divorced. If the divorce gets ugly, you spouse could run up high balances and not make the payments to hurt your credit score. You also want to have all of the marital debt paid off as part of the marital settlement even if it means liquidating an asset. Otherwise your spouse could fail to honor debts that he or she agreed to take on during the divorce settlement, and you could end up with creditors after you for payment.