Women aren't the only ones who make mistakes when they dissolve a marriage. They will "go to the mat" for to fight for custody and child support, but they often avoid taking care of their long-time financial independence. Perhaps they believe they will just meet someone else, who will undoubtedly show up at their door riding a white horse, and they won't have to be bothered with their last husband's 401K plan, but that doesn't always happen. Rather than trusting that your soon-to-ex-husband is still concerned about your lifestyle; it's better to work with a lawyer who will help you look out for yourself.
The average couple in Colorado, or in any state, collects a variety of assets during a marriage. Of course, this all depends on the age and affluence of the couple, but these assets could include real estate, investments, retirement accounts and business interests.
One of the more common mistakes among women is to look only at the visible property, such as houses, cars and liquid assets. Before they know it, they have agreed to allow an ex-spouse to hold onto a large share of the marital assets. Perhaps this explains why so many attorneys spend a lot of time doing "discovery" work before the first court date, just to be certain their client doesn't leave money on the table.
Here are a few of the most common mistakes couples make:
Rushing into court - When you just want "out" of a marriage and you have the opportunity to get it over with, you take it; at least that's how many women approach their first court date. Unfortunately, the stress of that first day in court is likely to cause impulsive decisions about how to divide marital assets.
Relying too much on a spouse's credit rating - Before you get a divorce, it's important to know everything about your current financial situation. How much debt are you carrying? Whose name are the credit cards in right now? How long has it been since you've looked at a credit report? It might be a good idea to start applying for credit in your own name so you have a better chance of living independently after the divorce.
Don't sign first and ask questions later – As any good divorce lawyer will tell you; always look before you sign any agreement. Something as important as divorce paperwork should always be reviewed by an attorney - even if it is only for the purpose of reviewing an agreement. Remember, an unwise legal decision at a time like this is a ticket to future disaster.
Avoid spending too much – It may be tempting to spend a lot when you think your spouse will end up paying the bill, but be careful of this. If you are already legally separated your settlement will be based on the assets and liabilities that existed on the date of separation. This means if you rack up more bills they may be 100 percent your responsibility.
Avoid the temptation to procrastinate
In a recent article published on The Modern Women's Divorce Guide, "3 Mistakes Women Make in a Divorce and How to Avoid Them," women make some very specific errors. According to the author, procrastination is one of the leading mistakes because it is often based on fear. If the divorce came up as a total surprise, some women will unwittingly procrastinate with legal matters because it brings up too many negative emotions. Gathering the documents and meeting with an attorney often brings up a host of unwanted feelings, while procrastinating allows them temporary relief from the harsh reality.
When women procrastinate in a divorce she can find herself facing court-imposed deadlines that force her to make life-altering decisions without the vital information she needs. One of the worst things about procrastination is how it can causes assets to disappear or debts to accumulate before a settlement can be reached.
Respond to legal paperwork in a timely manner
Women who find themselves in a state of denial about the divorce may do more than just procrastinate; they can often fail to respond at to their husband's petitions and other legal documents. In cases where spousal support is being paid, failure to respond could cause a judge to terminate the order entirely. State laws often govern the length of time required for a response to divorce motions, after which an order can be entered in favor of the petitioner.
If you are facing a divorce in Colorado and you want to make sure it is done right, seek the counsel of a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer. He or she will help you get the settlement you deserve.
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