HomeLifestyleAsk a Divorce Lawyer: 7 Mistakes to Avoid During and Before Trial

Ask a Divorce Lawyer: 7 Mistakes to Avoid During and Before Trial

Even if you decide that you and your spouse are no longer compatible, going through a divorce is tough. Emotions are high, and mistakes are made before and during the trial. Fortunately, with the help of a divorce lawyer, it is possible to avoid making some of the most commonly committed errors, including acting from a place of pain and forgetting to consider the tax implications of a settlement. Here’s what you need to know.

Ask a Divorce Lawyer: 7 Mistakes to Avoid During and Before Trial

1. Acting From a Place of Pain

Emotions run high during a divorce trial, even for the person that initiated the divorce. However, it is absolutely a mistake to act out of revenge, anger, or guilt. You are free to feel negative emotions during the divorce process, but you should keep a level head throughout the process, so you don’t do anything that can negatively affect you.

Qualified divorce lawyers in Harris County, TX can help you make rational decisions that will benefit you during the trial and in the long run. Other professionals, like tax attorneys and therapists, can also help you make the best possible decisions. For example, a therapist or family counselor can help you provide the best possible outcome for your child. Research suggests children of divorced parents are 250% more likely to experience behavioral problems.

2. Forgetting to Consider the Tax Implications of a Settlement

Another common mistake made during and before a divorce trial is forgetting to consider the tax implications of a settlement. Generally, the transfer of assets, like real property or vehicles, during a divorce settlement are not taxable.

However, if you receive alimony, you will have to pay income tax the year after it. Since there is no tax withholding requirement for alimony, it is highly advisable to make estimated tax payments throughout the year.

3. Agreeing to a Settlement That Benefits Only One Side

The divorce process is extremely uncomfortable. It may feel like the best course of action to agree to a one-sided settlement agreement to end the process as quickly as possible. However, you should not rush to agree to anything, especially if the agreement benefits only your spouse. It is extremely difficult to reverse a voluntary agreement, and it is impossible in some cases.

Make sure you review any agreement you receive very carefully. Then, take as much time as you need to consider the implications of the agreement very carefully. A year from now, are you really going to be okay without your dog and truck while paying your ex-spouse 40% of your income? If you have a problem with any part of the agreement, even if most of it seems okay, make sure you speak up.

4. Not Checking Agreements for Accuracy

We’d all like to believe that professionals don’t make mistakes. However, even licensed attorneys are people, and people are fallible. Don’t make the mistake of signing an agreement without reviewing it thoroughly to ensure it represents you accurately. This is particularly true if your spouse’s attorney was the one who drafted the agreement.

5. Failing to Communicate With Your Spouse

Failing to communicate with your spouse is another common mistake made before a divorce trial. As hard as it is to communicate with someone who hurt you deeply, the more you communicate, the better your outcome will probably be. For example, the more you communicate before the trial, the shorter the trial will be. In some cases, a trial can be avoided entirely through effective mediation.

6. Forgetting to Change Your Will

It is also common for people to forget to change their will when they are going through a divorce. After all, they have to fight for property and income. There is so much to think about that they often don’t think about what happens to their life insurance payout, Social Security benefits, and property when they die. Particularly if you have fallen out of love with your spouse and think you will remarry in the future, make sure you remove your spouse from your will.

7. Dating Too Quickly

You may feel free to date when the divorce process is started. However, until your divorce is legally finalized, you should not date. Your spouse’s attorney may use your new relationship against you during the trial, particularly if you are fighting for custody of a child.

The bottom line is that divorce is tough, but a qualified divorce lawyer can help you navigate the entire process. One of the most commonly made mistakes is acting from a place of pain, affecting you negatively down the line. Another common mistake is not considering the tax implications of a settlement. For the best possible outcome, make sure you review all documents carefully, don’t rush to agreements, and get professional help.



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