By John P. Cito, CDFA
Big life events such as divorce, marriage, and death are times when thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars change hands. Unfortunately, are also times when women are the most vulnerable to making huge money mistakes that can haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Here are 3 common mistakes in divorce:
MISTAKE #1 – Letting Emotions Rule “There’s never a right answer in divorce.” Going through a divorce is an emotionally charged time in a person’s life. It’s easy to make decisions based on those emotions without taking the time to look at the facts first. The most common emotional choice made by parents usually involves the family home and where the kids are going to live.
What’s wrong with wanting to keep my house? It is often one parent that says, “I want to keep the house no matter what.” Usually they are thinking of the children and all the memories that have collected within those four walls. When this becomes a very emotionally charged decision, common sense and good reason tend to get left at the curbside. It becomes less and less about the financial obligations that go along with the house, and more and more about living there, even if that comes at a dear cost. Decisions like these can cause immense financial damage down the road. It is crucial that you take the time to look at the numbers before making emotional decisions that might not be in your best interest.
MISTAKE #2 – Choosing the wrong method of divorce resolution. There are four different paths people can go down when resolving a divorce – mediation, collaboration, litigation and arbitration. Although mediation is the most popular, it’s important to understand the pro’s and con’s of each option. The better informed you are, the better you’ll do when choosing what option is right for your particular situation. If you don’t know the differences between these four ways to resolve your divorce, speak with a professional that can advise you or read our ground breaking free report.
MISTAKE # 3 – Not getting financial advice during and after divorce. “This is your only shot at getting it right.” Divorce is all about getting a second chance to be happy. Unfortunately, many of the financial mistakes that are often made during the process create a lot of disappointment later on and don’t come with second chances. We think of these as irreversible money mistakes, because once done, they can’t be undone. While it’s important to work out any child custody issues, the financial issues will bleed into every area of your life, affecting your future and the future of your children. With a little time now, these big mistakes can be avoided.
What type of financial advice do I need? There are several areas specific to the skills of a Certified Divorce Financial Advisor (CDFA) that become especially important to explore before divorce. Let’s take a look at a just two of them.
TAXES – Failure to understand the tax implications of a newly single life can sometimes cause a great deal of unnecessary grief. This is an area lawyers sometimes miss. A CDFA should be able to alert you to the taxes associated with alimony payments, investments, and the sale of physical assets so you don’t get any surprise bills from Uncle Sam.
PROJECTIONS – A financial planner can sit down with the numbers specific to your situation and do an analysis of your future financial health. Without a clear sense of where you are headed, you may be on a crash course and not realize it until it’s too late. Having a financial projection prepared by a CDFA will give you the facts you need to make smart money decisions.
- Get Prepared
- Focus On The Future
- Keep Your Emotions In Check
- Plan For Your Future
- Invest Time in Yourself
If you or someone you know is getting divorced, make sure they have a competent CDFA as part of their divorce team.
About The Author
John P. Cito, CDFA, is a partner in Freedom Divorce Advisors. Mr. Cito has obtained Collaborative Divorce training and has been actively involved in matrimonial cases for many years. He is the Chairman of the Divorce Financial Committee for the NJ Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts, a member of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, a former Board Member of the Association for Divorce Financial Analysts, and the Financial Divorce Association. Mr. Cito has written numerous articles on
financial issues pertaining to pre- and post-divorce planning and appeared on the Real Life with Mary Amoroso “Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce” episode and has been listed in the Peer Recommended Professionals section of Divorce Magazine.
He can be reached at (855) 540-0400 x 172, or email John@FreedomAdv.com or visit www.freedomadv.com
Free reports are offered on:
- How to Divorce a Business Owner
- How to Save $5,000 on Your Divorce
- 40 Tips for Surviving Your Divorce
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