Divorce is a time of high emotion. There are frequently hurt feelings, anger and frustration. It is not uncommon for people to behave differently from normal when these emotions are in play, but during a divorce, acting without carefully considering your motives can have costly consequences.
You may hear the advice to stay calm. While it is easy to say, it is not always easy to do. However, calm and rational thought may prevent missteps that could cost you during the divorce process and perhaps for years to come. Your post-divorce finances will have a great impact on your standard of living in the future.
Common sources of contention
To minimize any negative financial consequences, it may help to examine your priorities. You will likely be making many choices during the divorce process, and focusing on the things that are most important to you may prevent you from becoming distracted by items that are inconsequential. Typically, the most important issues during a divorce involve the following:
- Child custody
- Money, including alimony
- The house
However, your marriage may have other important details, such as retirement funds, real estate or pets. Taking some time to assess those elements and how they will affect your future will provide a framework in which you and your attorney can begin negotiations.
Leave your digital trail alone
Many divorces, especially contentious ones, involve accusations spouses make to gain the upper hand concerning custody or support issues. If you anticipate such a contest, your instinct may be to delete incriminating emails or deactivate your Facebook page. However, this could end up costing you money. If your spouse suspects such digital evidence exists, he or she may request a forensic examination, and this investigation will certainly reveal any attempts at destroying the evidence.
Not only may this evidence and your attempts to hide it work against you, but it may leave you with paying the fee for the investigation. The best course of action is to seek and follow the advice of your attorney regarding any potentially damaging information.
Taking advantage of your resources
While there may be some factors you and your spouse can work out yourself, the advice of an experienced attorney is often invaluable. Divorce attorneys have seen many different scenarios and may be able to provide an objective viewpoint that can benefit you in ways you never expected. However, your relationship with your attorney can become expensive if you do not communicate in an organized and efficient manner.
Rather than making random, billable calls about haphazard issues, advisors recommend you keep a list of concerns as they occur to you. This will give you a chance to consider them and perhaps gather more information to share with your Wisconsin attorney. Then, when you do contact your lawyer, your conversation can be concise and productive.