Avoid errors when you are preparing for property division

The property division phase of your divorce need not be the grueling event you envision if you prepare well and approach it in a practical, business-like manner.

You can keep conflict to a minimum if you avoid these five mistakes when facing property division.

1. Listing assets and liabilities inaccurately

When you divorce, the law requires you to provide financial documents that accurately account for your assets and liabilities. The time it takes to compile this information will be worth the effort: It will keep you from retaining debts that should not be in your column and from relinquishing assets that should be yours to keep.

2. Failing to look for assets

If yours is a high-asset divorce, how confident are you that your soon-to-be-ex has listed all the marital assets? You may need the services of a professional such as a forensic accountant to investigate whether there are hidden assets to uncover.

3. Forgetting about tax consequences

Do not agree to an alimony settlement until you know what the net amount will be after taxes. Do not forget that tax consequences will attach to many of the assets you receive in the divorce.

4. Giving in to revenge

You may be very angry and hurt, and you would like nothing better than to take revenge on your spouse for the pain he has caused. However, keep the big picture in mind. Set aside the anger and focus on your financial future. You will fare better in the long run.

5. Agreeing to anything

You may want to get out of your marriage as quickly as possible. In fact, you may be agreeable to almost anything, just to put it behind you and get on with your life. Take a deep breath and continue to focus on your future. Do not agree to a smaller alimony payment than you deserve, just to hurry the divorce along. Do not give up any marital assets that you will regret later on. Remember to approach the property division phase of your divorce in a practical, business-like way and it will go much more smoothly than you expect.

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