Contrary to popular belief, the commonly repeated “fact” that half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce is only loosely true. In fact, divorce rates have actually slowed over the last couple of decades, giving reassuring hope to many who are down on the concept of marriage. While this is encouraging news, the fact that approximately 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the U.S. get divorced cannot be ignored. There are a variety of factors that play into these statistics. Things like marrying at a young age, location that a couple resides, education level, religion, children, mental health, and upbringing all factor into the likelihood that a couple remains married. Regardless of the how or why a marriage dissolves, it is important to understand the implications of a divorce and how these implications may impact you and your family.
Managing expectations is critical when it comes to divorce and the ability to make it as stress-free and smooth as possible. From living arrangements to children and from financial issues to legal issues, understanding your divorce is critical for anyone. Take a look at the top 10 things you should know about divorce below:
- Remove emotion when making life-changing decisions and carefully consider the consequences of those decisions
- Do not approach divorce with the desire to “win” in court
- Do not rely on divorce advice from friends or family who have gone through it in the past
- Consider all possible alternatives to court
- Be completely honest with your attorney
- Gather and keep a thorough record of all financial documents
- If considering a big purchase, do so before filing for divorce
- Keep a careful record of your spouse’s money
- Do not hide any assets
- Be aware of hidden tax obligations
Once you speak with a trusted attorney it is important to take their advice and guidance seriously. In many cases, your divorce lawyer will recommend that you involve a forensic accountant. While you may think you know everything about your spouse, it is very difficult to fully understand a person’s finances without an expert. Things like understanding debt obligations and beneficiary designations is complex and overwhelming, especially during an emotionally distressing time. Be sure to carefully consider the above advice and consult with a professional before moving forward with your divorce.