As is always the case with drastic life changes such as separation and divorce, questions and issues never before contemplated rise from the turbulent waters of change. Getting through a divorce requires both internal self-evaluation and external awareness, and oftentimes requires assistance and guidance from outside parties. Whether you like it or not, the journey through divorce is not always pleasant. It is emotionally strenuous and can prove overwhelming if unprepared.
Lack of preparation for a divorce can not only lead to additional and unnecessary emotional distress, it can also result in detrimental mistakes on both an emotional and legal level. In an article titled, “Top 10 Legal Mistakes in Divorce,” Divorce360, an online resource for individuals contemplating, living through or recovering from divorce, referred to Loriann Hoff Oberlin’s “Surviving Separation and Divorce” when describing the typical mistakes made by divorcing spouses.
The family lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt describe the top five mistakes that cause many divorcing spouses unnecessary grief:
Believing your soon-to-be ex will be fair and cooperative:
Thanks to emotional turbulence during a divorce, spouses can butt heads over minute details that never before were an issue. Court divorce is an adversarial process that evokes conflict. The best way to approach divorce is to put yourself first, as your spouse will likely do the same.
Not asking questions:
As the legally inexperienced person may feel intimidated by the system, the concept of asking questions may appear daunting at first. Do not let fear get in the way of understanding your rights and benefits. Communication with your lawyer and other professionals that may be assisting you is key to understanding the consequences to you – financial and emotional – as the divorce action proceeds. Write down any questions or issues that come to mind and ask your lawyer for specific answers – and write down the answers.
Withholding information from your attorney:
Remember, your lawyer has your best interests in mind. While divorce may elicit feelings of distrust towards your spouse, the sentiment should not transfer to your attorney. Withholding information pertinent to the litigation only slows the process to a final resolution. Remember, they are lawyers, they find out everything sooner or later. Failure to tell your lawyer certain facts may be crucial in trial – particularly if your spouse knows the information you are withholding and his or her lawyer uses it against you at trial. Your lawyer will have little if any chance to deal with harmful, unexpected testimony in court.
Letting emotions steer decisions:
As the lawyers of Gailor, Wallis & Hunt know – divorce is tough.. But allowing emotions rather than logic to steer your decisions will undermine your case. While some may feel victimized or want revenge, others feel anxious and angry. In hindsight, rash decisions are almost always turn out to be a mistake. Discuss the consequences of a potential decision with your lawyer and other advisors before taking action – you will likely save yourself from a serious and perhaps costly mistake. It is far easier to prevent a mistake than to fix the consequences.
Forgetting tax ramifications of legal decisions:
Divorce litigation consists of , real and personal property including retirement accounts, as well as post separation support and alimony all of which are accompanied by tax ramifications that will last much longer than the emotional turmoil from the divorce. If part of your 401K is transferred to your spouse is the transfer taxable? If you pay or receive alimony is it taxable to you or deductible by your spouse? These questions are very important but unfortunately often overlooked by unhappy spouses who want to hurry up with the divorce. Ask your attorney what will happen if you are forced to split your retirement account or have to pay alimony and what the long term consequences will be. Make sure the proposals on the table for division of property and payment or receipt of support are worth it in the long run.
When it comes to divorce, the splitting of assets and debts accumulated through the relationship is an unavoidable, yet necessary process. It ensures both parties receive what is rightfully theirs but unfortunately can result in lengthy disputes that require court trials. Hiring an attorney experienced in family law is the best way to survive the storm. The law firm of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt is known as one of North Carolina’s most accomplished domestic relations family law firms.
Each attorney in the firm possesses a particular proficiency in a specific area of family law, enhancing the firm’s ability to respond to and settle or litigate any issue, not matter how complex. The lawyers at Gailor, Wallis and Hunt are ready and able to help you through the divorce process whether by achieving a successful settlement for you or , if necessary, by litigating in the courts.
To contact them, call them at 866-362-7586, or visit their website at www.gailorwallishunt.com.
Gailor, Wallis & Hunt, PLLC
Divorce is Tough – So Are We
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