Emotions run high during a divorce, and things in your life will change rapidly. It is surprisingly easy for people to lose their focus on the big picture and make potentially devastating mistakes during a divorce.
The more assets you share with your ex, the greater the potential losses you could suffer because of divorce mistakes. Especially if you don’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and may have to litigate your divorce, avoiding the mistakes below is crucial to your self-protection during the divorce.
Do not hide or give away marital property
Some people start a secret checking account that they fund with income earned during the marriage so that they have enough set aside to support themselves in the early stages of a divorce. Other people will take steps to try to limit what property their spouse receives from the divorce proceedings.
Selling or giving away marital property, spending a lot of money from your joint account in a frivolous manner or accruing huge debts are all behaviors that could lead to allegations of hidden assets or dissipation of marital assets.
Don’t take your ex’s word for it when it comes to the value of property
Achieving a fair result during property division negotiations or litigation requires an accurate understanding of what assets you share, as well as their current fair market values.
Valuable assets like real estate, collectibles, jewelry, vehicles or fine art often fluctuate in value. Using the price paid for the assets will not necessarily be the best approach. Additionally, you should not accept values that represent nothing but an estimate on the part of your ex.
Having an accurate valuation for your property is of the utmost importance if you want to get your fair share of the marital property, especially for major assets like your home.
Don’t agree to specific settlement terms without having time to review them
Someone trying to trick you will put you in a position where you feel an artificial sense of pressure. They want to get you to agree before you realize that the terms benefit them more than you. Don’t give your ex the authority to back you into a corner during negotiation.
You have the right to take your time and review any settlement offer in depth with your own representation. Recognizing mistakes that could have a lasting impact on the outcome of your settlement can make it easier for you to secure a positive outcome during the property division process in your high-asset Virginia divorce.