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Avoiding alimony pitfalls in a spring divorce

While married couples in New Mexico and elsewhere do their best to maintain this union, in some cases, it is in the best interest of the couple to end the relationship. And, much like a couple does not have full and complete control over whether their marriage will fail, couples do not always have complete control over when they file for divorce. Although, it might not be in the forefront of the spouses' minds, the timing that a couple arrives at the decision to divorce could impact how certain divorce issues are settled. This is especially true when it comes to monetary decisions, such as alimony.

Filing for divorce is not an easy step to take. However, this process could become more challenging if a coupe decides to file in the spring. In fact, those couples that file for dissolution in the spring are more likely to encounter certain blunders or mistakes. Despite this, there are ways for couples to avoid these common pitfalls.

Because the date a married couple files for divorce establishes a cut-off for claims against certain marital assets, this makes it essential to think strategically about divorce. For example, the division of a 401K will be based on its current worth of the month when dissolution was filed, not beyond that month. Therefore, if a spouse is contributing to the 401K, it is more strategic to file sooner than later as a means to protect this asset.

A common mistake that divorcing couples make is guessing their financial information. If spousal support is requested or awarded, these numbers must be accurate. Mistakes could equal the loss of thousands. Therefore, it is important to submit financial information that details items, such as income, living expenses, bank account amounts, investments and retirement accounts. This will help ex-spouses understand their full financial situation and the financial needs of the spouse requesting alimony.

Another common mistake divorcing couples make is thinking that they do not need a separation agreement. This agreement could be beneficial for the couple, helping them address their financial concerns, while they progress through their divorce. This could also help a spouse who will be seeking alimony transition during this phase. Lastly, these agreements help if the divorce process takes longer than expected.

The divorce process can have many unexpected complications and pitfalls. But, there are ways to remedy them. Divorcing couples dealing with spousal support or other divorce issues should take the time to understand how they could addresses these problems. This could help the couple avoid additional setbacks and issues as well.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Filing For Divorce In Spring? Avoid These 6 Perilous Mistakes!," Bari Zell, April 25, 2016

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