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Divorce mistakes to avoid

| Jan 28, 2019 | Family Law |

Alabama couples who are going through divorce should beware of potentially costly errors. For example, one man who said he could not afford a certain settlement later made financial boasts on social media that hurt his case. Another common error is not getting the financial paperwork necessary when it is available. Information such as how much was paid for the home and account numbers may be useful years after the divorce as well as during it.

Understanding how tax laws may affect divorce negotiations is also important. For example, because withdrawals from a Roth IRA are not taxed on retirement, this type of account is worth more than a traditional IRA. Taxes on spousal support have also changed since starting in agreements made in 2019, it is not longer deductible by the payer or treated as income to the recipient.

Some people may not realize that it is necessary to close joint accounts. Furthermore, even if one person assumes responsibility for debt, a creditor may still pursue the other spouse for that debt if the spouse’s name is also on it. Finally, people may assume that divorce means going to court. People may find mediation or a collaborative divorce less expensive and less stressful. Both work toward conflict resolution, but a collaborative divorce might be the right choice for some couples who are more combative but who still want to stay out of court.

In addition to issues around dividing property, a divorcing couple might also have to negotiate child custody and visitation. While this can be particularly emotional for some people, it is also usually not necessary to go to court over these issues. An exception might be if one parent is concerned that the other parent may abuse or neglect the child. However, parents should be aware that while courts take a child’s safety seriously, a judge also tries to be flexible about different parenting styles.