Susan E. Kamman & Associates
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Don't be too nice: It could ruin your divorce

It is often said that women are too accommodating during a divorce, but the reality is that anyone can get emotional and give too much to the other party. Even if you still have feelings for your spouse or want to give them more out of guilt, it is best not to allow your emotions to guide your divorce.

It is good to want to be amicable during a divorce, but being respectful is different than being a pushover. You can respect the other party without hurting yourself.

Why is it important to protect your own interests during a divorce?

You might want to be fair, but the first person you have to be fair to is yourself. You have to protect your own interests, whatever they may be. For instance, if you have a mortgage payment of $1,400 and have a right to alimony for $1,500, it would be a poor decision to refuse it. If you did, you'd be left paying for your mortgage out of pocket for a period of time, even though your ex would have covered it otherwise.

It may seem like a kindness to give your ex a break during divorce, but the reality is that a judge is the one who can determine what is or is not fair. If your ex-spouse can't afford that payment, then the court would know. You can't allow yourself to be too accommodating, especially if it is in the hope of preventing conflict. What prevents a conflict now could lead to one of your own in the future if you aren't cautious.

Here's an example. If you were a stay-at-home parent, you might opt to keep the home, because you want your children to stay in the same property. However, if you give up cash or other liquid assets in exchange, it could put you in a difficult position. Can you truly afford the property without the additional income? Before you make that decision, get to know the true value of your marriage. Then, you can make a more accurate determination of what you should get out of the divorce.

In the end, your divorce is the dissolution of your marriage, but it is also the start of your new life. You don't want to do anything that sabotages your finances or financial security in the future. Take things slowly, and don't make the mistake of giving up too much.

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