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Why should one not rush through property division in a divorce?

People in a failing marriage may be eager to end their relationship as quickly as possible. However, those in Virginia who are seeking a divorce may want to make sure they do not act rashly but instead take the time they need to end their marriage in a way that protects their best interests.

First of all, when it comes to any divorce documents, parties should make sure that they have read them in full and that they understand its terms. Once the divorce decree is signed, the only way to change it is to go back to court. If you are heading back to court because you didn’t read the document properly in the first place, it may not look so good to a judge.

Speaking of documents — couples should make sure they have any agreements in writing. Oral agreements may fail to be included in the final divorce decree, and therefore they may not be honored. It is worth the time and money it takes to draft legal documents with the assistance of an attorney.

One sticking point between both spouses may be who gets the family home. This is understandable, as a house is usually one of a couple’s biggest assets. Moreover, the family home has a great deal of sentimental value. However, homes are expensive to own. The owner must pay the mortgage, insurance, property taxes, and any necessary maintenance. Moving from a dual-income household to a single-income household could affect a person’s ability to financially maintain the family home.

Other big assets that usually must be divided in a divorce are retirement accounts. Certain types of retirement plans should have the funds separated before transfer so that they are not penalized. There may be tax issues as well, depending on how old the parties are at the time of distribution of certain retirement assets.

These are only some reasons why it is important to take your time and not rush through a divorce. Being hasty can cost a person greatly in a divorce, so it is best to tread carefully and make sure to dot your “I’s” and cross you “T’s” before signing on the dotted line.

Source: Investopedia, “How to Achieve Financial Goals During a Divorce,” Rose Swanger, Nov. 22, 2017

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