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Preparing for divorce can help prevent costly mistakes

We're all much smarter in hindsight, right? Unfortunately, when going through a divorce, mistakes can be costly. Whether they're made from lack of knowledge or emotions such as anger, too many people realize at some point that they should have done some things differently.

Fortunately, some of these folks are willing to share their experience and what they learned with others to help prevent them from making the same mistakes. Experienced Florida family law attorneys also have a wealth of knowledge to share based on other cases they've handled, and sometimes on their own life.

A lot of mistakes can be avoided by doing some early preparation if you're even contemplating divorce or believe that your spouse is. For example:

-- Plan for your financial life after divorce. This will help you make some of the other decisions we'll be discussing here. Determine how much money you'll need to live on your own. Make an estimated monthly and annual budget. People are often shocked by how much more it costs to live alone than to share a home with someone

-- The decision about what to do with the family home is probably one of the biggest financial decisions you and your spouse will make. It's often also an emotional one, particularly if you have kids. One mistake that too many people make is keeping their name on the mortgage with the understanding that their ex-spouse will take it over when he or she can afford to. That can lead to a world of credit problems if your spouse isn't able to do that. Often it's wise to sell the home and split the profits. However, it's good to consider all of your options, especially if one or both of you doesn't want to do that.

-- Start determining the true value of your assets now. Sometimes, when divorcing spouses list their assets, there are serious discrepancies that need to be resolved by an independent party. This can be costly. An accurate valuation can also help you determine what is and isn't worth fighting for.

Besides your attorney, it's often helpful to have financial and tax advisors. If you and your spouse have these already, now is the time to get your own. While the idea of surrounding yourself with a team of advisors may sound costly, it can save you money and headaches in the long run.

Source: Forbes, "What I Wish I Knew Before My Divorce," Michael Smith, accessed July 04, 2016

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