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Common money mistakes in divorce

For New York individuals who are thinking about filing for divorce, the prospect of dealing with asset division may be daunting. Some people want to just get through the process quickly, and others set specific goals for what they want, which might include a set amount of money or sentimental objects. In many cases, one spouse opts to keep the couple's former home. While vying to keep the house is understandable, many financial experts say that it is usually better to sell the house and split the profit between the both parties. This is because the future value of the home is difficult to estimate, and maintenance costs might decrease the property's value to the owner.

Failing to focus on long-term financial outcomes is one of the mistakes sometimes made by people going through divorce. Often, it is advisable to hire a financial planner to help with evaluating the worth of marital property and to provide advice throughout the property division process. A planner may be able to assess the financial situation and offer recommendations that will provide for stability after the marriage ends.

Retirement accounts can almost always be factored into property division, and many people are unaware of this. These accounts might provide benefits that other assets might not. For example, retirement accounts generally offer tax deferments, protecting the value of assets over a long period.

In addition, forensic specialists may be helpful if it is suspected that a spouse has hidden accounts or other concealed assets. These specialists may be able to uncover accounts that otherwise would not be factored in to property division.

When a person is uncertain about the property division phase of divorce, it can be especially important to have legal guidance. Talking to a lawyer who has experience with divorce cases may be helpful. A lawyer can guide a person through the steps of divorce and help him or her avoid common mistakes in the property division process.

Source: Forbes, "The Big Money Mistake Divorcing Women Make", Kerry Hannon, July 03, 2014

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