Washington state couples seeking to split amicably should be careful to avoid financial mistakes in the interest of being nice. Dissolution of marriage can be a very complex process fraught with unanticipated consequences.
When it comes to divorce, both parties should make sure to plan for their own interests to ensure equitable distribution of assets and financial health in the future.
The following precautions can ensure financial security in an amicable divorce:
- Anticipate that your ex-spouse will have different interests after the divorce. Amicable divorces often start out with a great deal of agreement. At that part of the process, a couple might share the interest in keeping the dissolution as peaceful as possible. However, after the split, lives will change. It is a good idea for divorcing parties to assume from the beginning that they will not always share the same perspective or interests regarding financial assets.
- Consider realistically whether it is a good idea to keep the house. It may appear initially to be smart to keep kids in their childhood home, but changing financial circumstances can mean that the marital home is unaffordable in the long run.
- Be informed about an ex-spouse's financial picture. Many times, parties to an amicable divorce worry that they will offend the ex-spouse by requesting documentation of financial claims. Ignoring the details in the interest of magnanimity can create an inequitable distribution of assets and much resentment later.
- Consider getting professional help. A neutral third party can make it easier to remain amicable by reducing complicated questions like child support and parenting time to formulas that both parties might find much easier to implement.
And finally, even though the divorce is amicable, each party is wise to obtain his or her own representation. It is very possible to preserve the peace under these circumstances, but it might take a little effort on the part of the divorcing individuals. A frank discussion with a family law attorney in order to set the parameters of the divorce can help to ensure that the proceedings will be held in an amicable manner.
Source: Reuters, "Divorce mistakes you can make by being too nice," Geoff Williams, June 26, 2012