Though there are certainly exceptions, most reasonable people don’t want a divorce to be a long, expensive process. To get through it as quickly and fairly as possible, some pursue avenues that seem inexpensive and quick on their face, only to make things more expensive in the end.
The fact is that some cost-cutting measures ultimately cost more money to resolve. Here are four missteps to avoid:
Rushing through property division
Property division isn’t always complicated, especially if the parties have few assets, or a clear idea about how they want to divide everything. However, oversimplifying the process, regardless of the assets involved, can be a mistake. Without careful attention, parties can overlook financial accounts (e.g., frequent flyer miles), undervalue property, or otherwise miss out on assets that they may have a right to under Minnesota property division laws.
Going it alone
Some people pursue “do it yourself” options for their divorce in order to cut costs. These solutions typically provide a cookie-cutter approach to what can be a highly personal and individual experience. By not seeking the guidance of attorneys, accountants, mediators, or other professionals, parties can miss deadlines, reach unlawful agreements, or fail to address certain details that seem unnecessary at the moment but could become extremely important in the years after the divorce is final. These mistakes can be costly to fix or address after the fact.
Deciding against negotiation
Negotiating fair settlements and custody arrangements takes time. Attempting to speed up the process by simply accepting whatever offer the other person makes can be a mistake if the offer is unfair. Taking time to negotiate during a divorce can allow parties to avoid long-term, unanticipated consequences that could be expensive to revisit.
Losing sight of the big picture
Divorce is a major life event. Trivializing it or racing through it because you are angry, want to save money, or are ready for a new relationship may feel satisfying in the short-term, but over time is often regrettable.
Family law matters like child support, child custody, property division, and spousal maintenance can all have a considerable impact on your life after divorce. As such, it is wise to think through the little details and how they can affect your big picture.