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5 Divorce pitfalls to avoid

Divorce is a stressful time for all involved. Often, the stress can contribute to people making mistakes in the settlement process. However, these mistakes are avoidable - in part by hiring a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the process. A good lawyer can lead you through an uncontested divorce in which both sides reach a fair agreement and maintain a positive relationship without the court's intervention. This not only helps the couple involved, but also reduces stress for children and other family members. The following are five common pitfalls of divorce that good communication and proper guidance can help you avoid.

1. Becoming house poor

It is not uncommon for one partner to be attached to the family home, or to wish to continue to raise their children there to limit the impact of divorce. This can cause problems for people who cannot keep up with mortgage payments or house maintenance on their own. A good attorney can advise you on how to handle the home, including giving advice on the potential tax burden of a sale on both parties.

2. Failing to think about the future

Sometimes the instinct is to just get a divorce over with as soon as possible, but this approach can lead to short-term thinking. Immediately putting settlement money into a new home or other expenses without considering more beneficial long-term uses is a mistake that good counsel can help you avoid.

3. Not recognizing the real costs of settlement terms

Investments and assets such as a second home may carry a high current value, but it is a mistake not to look at their real cost when splitting property during a divorce. It may be advisable to sell an asset and split the payout, rather than putting the burden on one person to dispose of the asset down the road.

4. Seeking revenge

No one wins when one or both parties in a divorce decide that revenge is more important than an equitable settlement. Revenge-driven negotiations hurt both parties and their children, and can be very expensive. Paying a lawyer for a long divorce proceeding with bouts of fighting is a lot more expensive than having a good lawyer by your side to guide you through reasonable discussions.

5. Not looking at the big picture

It is important that people facing divorce don't place too much focus on one thing, like a home or maintenance (alimony). For example, having proper legal guidance during a negotiated agreement can help ensure that one party doesn't take on an excessive tax burden.

Missouri is an equitable division state, which in part means that a judge decides what THEY think is a fair division of property in contested divorces. Rather than take the risk that both parties wind up unhappy, you may benefit more from a thoughtful, uncontested divorce in which both sides have experienced legal representation. The Zolman Law Firm offers more than 50 years of combined family law experience and can help you avoid the many pitfalls of div orce.

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St. Louis, MO 63127

Phone: 314-375-5237
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