In times of LGBT divorce, spouses often make grave mistakes in which they regret later in life. Heavy emotions often play the main role in divorce proceedings. These emotions can engulf all aspects of your life and set fire to you and loved ones. These are the 7 mistakes to avoid during LGBT divorce.
“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.” – Shannon L. Alder
1) Seeking Revenge with a Combative Divorce Lawyer
Hiring a combative lawyer to both emotionally and financially punish your spouse could be the last thing you want to do in a divorce process. Combative lawyers don’t care about you or your future; they may only care about prolonging the divorce process so that they can get a bigger paycheck (even though they’re not supposed to). The longer the divorce takes, the more you may have to spend on attorney fees. This may not even help you or your spouse, and will ultimately hurt you more in the future.
It is very important for you to leave emotion out of divorce. Treat your divorce process as a business transaction. Trying to hurt your spouse may only cause you more suffering.
2) Ruling Out Mediation
California LGBT divorce cases are more often than not best solved with an attorney outside of the courtroom. A sound option for you and your divorcing spouse may be to reach a fair settlement outside of court. This can save countless dollars in legal fees and your emotional well-being. Issues such as child custody, alimony, asset separation, and child support can all be handled outside of the courtroom in a less hostile manner. California couples often seek a Pride Legal LGBT Family Law Attorney to mediate agreements outside of the courtroom. The mediator acts as a neutral party in order to reach a fair and justified settlement for both parties.
Typically, mediated divorce processes are for couples with similar interests and minimal hostility who are willing to compromise. Mediation allows divorcing couples to flexibly agree on what is best for their family without having to pay legal fees and consume both spouses’ time and money.
However, mediation is certainly not for all couples. If your spouse is taking a more hostile approach to the divorce process, such as liquidating assets and transferring income, it may be imperative to hire an Pride Legal LGBT Divorce Attorney. In court, your spouse will be legally forced to turn over all financial statements, whereas he or she would not in mediation.
3) Disregarding Financial Statements
During an LGBT marriage, it is important for both spouses to fully understand their marital finances. If your spouse handles all financial documents and decisions while you are left in the dark, your spouse may have an unfair advantage in a potential divorce process. In the midst of divorce proceedings, spouses often liquidate (transfer value to cash) their marital assets without their partner’s consent. Beware of any cash contained in joint brokerage or checking accounts. Understand the value of your life insurance policies as well. If you suspect your spouse is transferring or liquidating assets without your consent, it is imperative that you hire a Pride Legal LGBT Divorce Attorney to assist you in locating and evaluating your assets.
It is imperative for both spouses to understand each other’s finances in order to come to a fair and justified settlement. If you feel you feel your spouse is thinking of filing for divorce and are being left out of financial decisions, it may be wise to take action. Gather all financial records, including the following:
- Savings statements
- Brokerage statements
- Retirement statements
- Checking accounts
- Credit card statements
- Tax returns
- All other financial statements that reflect your marital lifestyle
In the midst of divorce proceedings, spouses often liquidate (transfer value to cash) their marital assets without their partner’s consent. Beware of any cash contained in joint brokerage or checking accounts. Understand the value of your life insurance policies as well. If you suspect your spouse is transferring or liquidating assets without your consent, it is imperative that you hire a Pride Legal Divorce Attorney to assist you in locating and evaluating your assets.
4) Neglecting Taxes
The IRS understands how common divorce is in America, and that’s exactly why they place heavy taxes on couples seeking divorce. Contact a Pride Legal Tax Lawyer to avoid overpaying taxes during your divorce process. The money you save from Uncle Sam can go towards a better future for you and your spouse. When possible, cooperate with your spouse to minimize the amount of money lost due to tax neglect.
Furthermore, it is important to determine the value of your divorce settlement after taxes. By deriving the value of your divorce settlement after taxes, you will get a more accurate picture of your end of the deal. Speak to a Pride Legal Tax Attorney before you agree to your divorce settlement.
5) Failure to Evaluate Settlement Proposals
Divorcing spouses must consider all financial aspects of their life in order to reach a fair settlement. Unseen expenses may come into your life in the future, and may place a great financial burden on you if you do not adequately prepare for them. The following are unseen factors that may affect your future lifestyle:
- Living expenses
- Insurance costs
- College tuition
- Medical expenses
- Retirement plans
- Any and all other factors which may place a burden on you.
6) Being Emotionally Attached to Your Belongings
During LGBT divorce proceedings, the most common issue that causes heated arguments is asset separation. Spouses often place emotional attachment to their belongings. Bringing emotion into divorce can impair your decision making. One must realize that the house you live in, the painting you bought, and the car you drive are not a part of you; they are material extensions of yourself. Although it may be hard to cut emotional attachment with these material objects, treating them as a part of you will only aggravate the divorce process.
For example, Alex and Sam feel emotionally attached to their home. Although the house is under a large sum of debt, they fight over its possession during divorce proceedings. In reality, whoever gets the home will be under heavy financial pressure; yet, neither spouse seems to realize that.
During the separation process, both partners must focus on how to maximize their settlement in a fair manner. Emotional attachment should be removed from material objects unless one wants a long, drawn-out, and expensive divorce.
7) Neglecting Your Future Post-Divorce
Financial planning is arguably the most critical part of an LGBT divorce. In many cases, divorce settlements can last longer than the spouses think. Map out your financial goals, set practical expectations, and make plans for your asset separation. You and your spouse’s future may rely on it.