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Common Do it Yourself Divorce Mistakes


No couple who is getting a divorce wants their divorce proceedings to be anything other than amicable. The average pair who has decided to go their separate ways is primarily interested in having all legal and financial matters resolved quickly. While it might be tempting to work with your soon to be ex-spouse to file the divorce together, it is in your best interest to hire a professional to represent you. Common do-it-yourself divorce mistakes are potentially costly and can place your entire family at risk.

Overlooking Mutual Debts

During a divorce one of the most commonly overlooked issues is debt established throughout the marriage. Though each spouse might have certain credit accounts solely in their own names, during the course of the marriage both partners usually use their credit in ways that benefit both spouses. After the divorce, one or both adults can find themselves stuck with thousands of dollars in debt that was not accounted for during the distribution of assets.

In other cases a former spouse might find themselves subjected to aggressive debt collection activities from a creditor who holds them financially accountable for debt established during their marriage. An aggressive and experienced divorce attorney understands the importance of addressing mutual debts and determining how they will be handled after the divorce. A couple attempting to hurriedly divorce without proper legal advice runs the risk of completely overlooking a potentially major issue.

Improperly Calculating Child Support and Alimony

Child support and alimony (now known as maintenance) are two things that are often misunderstood by individuals who have never had direct experience with either type of support. Child support is a type of financial support that provides children of the relationship with the same level of financial assistance they would receive if both parents were living in the household. Alimony is a type of financial support given to a former spouse to assist them in certain situations following a divorce.

Both forms of support are calculated in Florida using specific formulas and taking various things into consideration. The incomes of both parents, the length of the marriage, and the financial assets available to both parties are all used when determining appropriate support amounts. Couples who are attempting to complete their support arrangement on their own run the risk of not calculating correct support amounts.

Forgetting Tax Implications

Filing taxes for the first time following a divorce is stressful, but if you have completed your divorce without legal help and failed to discuss certain tax issues, post-divorce tax season could become a nightmare. Child support is not income that can be written off on your taxes, while alimony is a tax write off. It is not unusual for divorce attorneys to combine child support and alimony to provide their client with a tax break. Also, who can claim the children as dependents is something that should be discussed during the divorce. Child care credits and medical insurance discounts can all be affected by your divorce agreement.

Contact an Attorney

The best way to protect yourself and your family is to contact a skilled attorney. Sandra Bonfiglio P.A. is an aggressive divorce attorney who can provide you with the representation you need. Contact her Fort Lauderdale office today to schedule a free consultation.



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