Divorce is a tumultuous time where couples race to the finish line. Although the temptation is understandable, it is important to slow down and prevent as many post-decree disputes ahead of time. The following tips will help save a tremendous amount of brain power and money that is better served during the healing and recovery phase:
1. Details and Dates
There is no place more dangerous to make assumptions then divorce. Playing nice doesn’t always pay off when someone else could be angry, vengeful or even destructive by disengaging from the process. Be specific, include details and deadlines. Listing assets and their respective values may not be enough to prevent someone from dragging their feet when fulfilling an agreement. Include account numbers and division instructions including valuation dates. Address how gains and losses associated with the assets will be handled at the time of division. Make sure to include specific dates as to when certain events will occur after the divorce, such as when debts will be refinanced, homes will be listed on the market to sell, items will be returned, parties will move out, etc.
2. Attorney Review
Statistics reveal a growing trend where couples are forgoing legal representation and either utilizing mediation or going through the process on their own (pro se). The fear of escalating conflicts and incurring unsightly attorney’s fees is pushing many cases away from the traditional litigation method. Although these thoughts can be terrifying for some, it is imperative to speak with an attorney and, at a minimum, have your agreements reviewed with an attorney who offers unbundled services (i.e., client determined limited scope engagements where fees are charged by the hour). There is a reason attorney’s fees are expensive, it is worth it. Finding the right attorney is crucial to your bottom line.