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Common divorce mistakes for couples to avoid

Pennsylvania couples who are going through a divorce may not give the financial aspect of the process the attention it warrants. Emotions can make it difficult to make the right financial decisions and often lead to serious mistakes. One of the most common financial mistakes made at this time is when one spouse is unaware of some of the couple's marital property or of general household finances.

While property division negotiations can often be relatively straightforward, cases where assets such as 401(k)s, IRAs and similar financial accounts are involved can pose some difficulties, as well as those where one spouse is unaware of certain assets that may have been concealed by the other spouse. By examining tax returns and other records, a forensic accountant may be able to add clarity to the asset division process.

Another major mistake made by divorcing parties is a lack of proper guidance. An experienced attorney as well as a financial adviser can be assets to a person who has questions about what to expect. In the haste of trying to get the process behind them, some spouses will agree to concessions and offers that are not reduced to writing. This can also be a hazard, as trying to enforce an oral agreement may be difficult when a former spouse ultimately fails to carry through with what had been promised.

Divorce is often a complicated process, especially when real estate, retirement accounts and other high-value assets are involved. It can be made even more difficult when issues such as alimony and child custody are being disputed. A family law attorney may be able to assist a divorcing client in negotiating a comprehensive settlement agreement that covers these matters and that can be made a part of the final decree.

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