Be sure you don't cross the line from civility to carelessness

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When many people divorce these days, often the refrain is “keep it simple.” Whether it’s for the sake of the children, for financial reasons or for the sake of disrupting people’s lives as little as possible, sometimes people think that easier is better. And by easier, it means conceding on issues for the sake of brevity that someone otherwise might find be inclined to fight tooth and nail.

Unfortunately, the divorce landscape is littered with unmet expectations and errors made by people who thought they were doing the right thing. When it comes to an equitable or fair division of assets, sometimes one spouse or the other is too willing to set aside strong feelings in an attempt to keep everything low-stress.

This has led, many divorcing couples have found, to actually making a situation worse. Here are a few mistakes that divorcing people can make that can backfire on them if they aren’t careful:

•· Having an inadequate financial picture. If one person is afraid to ask to see the other’s financial statements, it could create an unnecessary burden on that person when it comes to deducting children on tax returns, for example.

•· Staying in the home. In today’s economy, sacrificing other assets to stay in the family home — often with children — can be a financial misstep that can take years to correct.

•· Going it alone. While some people might regard hiring an attorney as an aggressive move, not having one could put someone at a huge disadvantage.

•· Keep your eyes open. Everyone wants to assume that a friendly divorce is going well, but don’t overlook troubling signs if they appear ominous.

Source: Reuters, “Divorce mistakes you can make by being too nice,” Geoff Williams, June 26, 2012

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