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What you need to know*:
- Introduction to Divorce Negotiations
- Rule One - Be Cordial
- Rule Two - Do Not Give Ultimata
- Rule Three - Do Not Give Deadlines
- Rule Four - Make Full Disclosure Voluntarily and Freely
- Rule Five - Don't Be Afraid of Taking the First Step
- Rule Six - Never Negotiate Backwards
- Rule Seven - Never Refuse to Negotiate
- Rule Eight - Never Get Personal
- Rule Nine - Never Get Angry at a Settlement Proposal
- Rule Ten - Be Prepared
* This section has been written by a family law attorney to help both attorneys and people facing divorce understand the art of good negotiation to reach a successful divorce settlement.
How to Avoid Divorce Settlement Mistakes:
- Financial Victims in Divorce: Often divorce settlement mistakes may have their antecedents in decisions made before the separation. The time to garner as much information as possible is often before the red flag goes up.
- The Good Divorce Settlement: Failing to examine assets can be a mistake, because many assets, even the most valuable ones, such as a house, cost money to maintain. So the first reaction - to fight for everything - can be a mistake.
- Know the Liquidity of Assets in Your Divorce: Often in a divorce settlement, one spouse receives mostly illiquid assets, such as the home, while the other spouse gets liquid assets, such as retirement plans and brokerage accounts.
- Consider the Impact of Taxes: The effect of a settlement on various taxes can be very costly if not addressed thoroughly. Capital gains, income tax, and alimony are just a few of the areas that must be considered.
- Understand the Rules of Retirement Accounts in Divorce: Retirement accounts and a house are often the two most valuable assets a divorcing couple divides, so if a party finds that a large portion of his or her settlement consists of retirement assets, he or she needs to be aware of the many tax ramifications and potential penalties involved.
- Don't Overlook Debt and Credit Rating Issues: No one wants to start over with bad credit. Several steps can be taken during the divorce process to minimize the chances of this occurring.
- Maintain Control Over Insurance Policies: Most divorce decrees call for one of the parties to obtain a life insurance policy to insure the value of alimony payments, child support or some other financial need. The former spouse should be designated either the owner or irrevocable beneficiary of the policy.
- Be Sure to Budget for AFTER the Divorce: A realistic post-divorce budget, based on present expenses, spousal support, debt repayment, and/or child support, helps divorced people steer clear of the financial wreckage that so often follows a divorce. Developing a budget during the divorce process helps a person set priorities during a divorce.
- Identify Hidden Assets: Once a divorce begins some people do whatever they can to preserve what they feel is their own money. Some maintain secret accounts or other financial activities throughout an entire marriage. These assets may be subject to distribution.
- Working Toward a Good Settlement of Your Divorce: Just because a couple is divorcing does not mean they cannot work together to achieve the best financial settlement.
Useful Online Tools
- Negotiating Your Divorce Online - You will be surprised how easy it is to resolve your disputes through our innovative Divorce Negotiation CenterTM. It's FREE. Give it a try.
Separation Agreement Software
|Fairshare Divorce for Women
Fair Share Divorce for Women is the first book that gives women the support and guidance they need to safeguard their marital assets. Too often women find themselves at a disadvantage when their marriage ends and they have to fight for what is rightfully theirs.
Author: Kathleen Miller, CFP, MBA
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