The Biggest Financial Mistakes Divorcing Couples Make

April 24, 2014
Excerpt by Michelle Perry Higgins

Start Shopping for Long-Term-Care Insurance at 45Three Steps To Stay Clear-Headed in a Divorce

Divorce is emotional, and it’s best not to make any financial decisions in the heat of the moment. The decisions you make about the division of your assets may affect your financial security for the rest of your life.

When couples are facing the reality that their marriage is over and emotions are running high, deciding who will get the IRA, the house or the set of china should probably wait until emotions have cooled. We want to avoid making decisions on the basis of sentiments like “He can have everything, I just want this over” or “She can have the house, since the divorce was my fault.”

Here are three simple steps to help you keep a clear head about your finances during a divorce:

1. Do not rush through the divorce proceedings and/or feel pressure to make financial decisions or sign agreements. Give yourself time to move past the initial shock that your marriage is over. This may take you weeks or months, and that is OK.

2. Organize your financial, estate and personal affairs and put all the information in one location. If your spouse handled the financial affairs during the marriage, this may be a challenge for you. Don’t be afraid, move forward and consider it a step toward empowering yourself financially.

3. Once you are emotionally stable and have organized your binder, meet with your financial planner and divorce attorney to discuss your options.

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