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Avoid these common divorce mistakes

Divorce is rarely easy. The fact is it may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever endure. It can be stressful, depressing and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be fully as bad as people commonly make it.

Plenty of divorces turn into horror stories, but yours doesn’t have to be one of them. You can reduce your stress and improve your outcome by setting clear goals and reasonable expectations. When it comes to property division, you can be mindful. With the right steps, you can avoid these common pitfalls:

Sharing too much on social media

As social media plays an ever-larger role in our lives, it’s seeing ever more use in divorce hearings. Even if you make your accounts private, the things you post on social media may find their way into court. If you share posts about promotions, raises or expensive vacations, you might find them used against you.

Aiming for unfair deals or accepting them

Michigan law instructs the courts to enforce equitable property division. That doesn’t necessarily mean equal, but it does mean “fair.” If you think you can push for a settlement that is clearly unfair, you might find yourself facing a longer battle. That translates into additional legal fees. On the other hand, you shouldn’t accept a bad deal just to get things over with. When it comes to your marital assets, the law says you earned your share.

Fighting too hard for the house

Your home is likely one of your most valuable assets. It carries sentimental value as well as real property value. Accordingly, people often fail to fully consider the costs of owning and maintaining their homes. When couples divorce, they often take their two income streams in opposite directions. The mortgage and bills associated with your house may have been affordable while your incomes were combined, but can you afford all those expenses on your individual income?

Forgetting about the taxes

Experienced financial advisors and lawyers will remind you that one dollar in a retirement account is not the same as one in a house. Neither of those dollars is worth the same as one in a savings account. You’ll have to deal with taxes for the different assets you split. U.S. News & World Report points out those taxes can mean as much as a $20,000 difference between two otherwise comparable $500,000 assets.