When negotiating a divorce settlement you need to be able to make rational decisions based on logic, not emotions. Couples who experience an adversarial divorce stay in and out of divorce court for years due to the fact that they are allowing negative emotions to drive their behaviors.
We all have the ability to moderate our reactions to our own feelings and the behaviors of others. In most cases, divorce ends up breaking the bank due to the unwillingness of individuals to behave in a manner that is beneficial to all involved.
Behaviors That Will Assure A High Priced Divorce:
- Forgetting What is at Stake:
Most are confused about what divorce is about. Divorce courts are full of angry people trying to get back at each other and not paying attention to the bottom line…their finances. Divorce is not a win/win situation; one side is going to walk away with less than they feel is fair.
How you play the game will determine just how little you walk away with. So, it makes sense to act based on what is in your financial interest instead of your emotions. Doing so will mean ending the divorce process with a fair divorce settlement.
- Refusing to Accept The Situation:
An unwanted divorce is not something anyone wants to go through. You can’t allow your lack of desire for a divorce to cause you to become so emotionally paralyzed that you can’t take care of yourself legally.
Becoming stuck in negative emotions or refusing to accept the reality of divorce leads to inaction. This can lead to your spouse taking advantage and control of the divorce process. When a spouse becomes in control of the legal process, it will cost you financially.
- Dulling Your Pain by Spending:
Here is how the stories I hear normally go, “He took the other woman on expensive vacations and shopping trips.” I had to distract myself from all the pain so, “I went shopping for new shoes which led to new clothes to go with the new shoes and you should see the new carpet I had installed last week.”
The financial problem with excessive spending during divorce is obvious. Just in case it isn’t though, let me explain. If you are spending money that is considered a marital asset you will be held accountable should you end up in divorce court.
For one thing, you are depleting assets that you may need to live on after the divorce is final. For another, if you go off the deep-end with your spending you could be ordered to repay all monies to your ex as part of the final divorce settlement.
- Failure to Plan Ahead:
In the majority of cases divorce is a decision based on emotions, one that is often made quickly and without much forethought. People fail to take into consideration that they will need somewhere to live, food to eat, a vehicle to drive and clothes on their back once a divorce is filed.
Filing for a divorce means a drastic change in how you handle finances. Throw in lawyers, judges, interrogatories and court dates and it is easy to lose track of what is and isn’t in your best interest financially.
- Not Accepting The Reality of Divorce:
As I said before, divorce is not a win/win situation. Unless you are leaving a short-term marriage with no children, you are going to suffer some financial setback due to divorce. A woman’s income and standard of living declines by 27% the first two years after a divorce, something few take into consideration when thinking about divorce.
Men who leave long-term marriages can be ordered to pay spousal support. They will be ordered to pay child support based on state child support guidelines. If the man has been the main source of income during the marriage he may be ordered to pay all marital debt. And each spouse will incur the expense of a divorce attorney.
Divorce may be your only option when it comes to getting out of a bad marriage but, it is an expensive option, one that can take five to ten years to recover from.