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USA TODAY: TOP 5 MISTAKES COUPLES MAKE IN A DIVORCE

Our Fremont divorce lawyers recognize that the decision to move forward with a divorce is never an easy one. The family attorneys in our Fremont and San Jose offices stumbled upon a recent article in USA Today that explains five common mistakes people make when dividing their finances during a divorce, and the information contained in this article could be very helpful to anyone facing a similar situation.
1. Many couples scrambling to obtain a divorce settlement wish to keep the house at any cost. However, financial experts say that more attention should be given to who can afford to maintain the property, pay the mortgage, and manage the taxes. While it is possible to ask for spousal support to help make the mortgage payments, unexpected maintenance costs may pop up, and make home ownership more of a liability than a luxury.

2. Clean separation of assets and debts is another difficult task, but one that Howard Dvorkin, the founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services says is absolutely necessary, or the consequences can be devastating. Although the task may seem insurmountable, “the alternative is much worse,” says Dvorkin. “Having a spouse drive up your debt when you’re not married anymore” can seriously affect one’s credit score.
3. Depending on your former spouse to comply with financial arrangements is also a huge mistake, according to the USA Today article. Although both parties in a divorce are beholden to a court-ordered divorce agreement, creditors do not fall under that arrangement. If your ex spouse is supposed to pay the mortgage, but doesn’t, “the lender is going to sue both of you,” remarks Melissa Avery, an Indianapolis family law attorney. This holds true in Santa Clara County and Alameda County divorce cases as well; if your ex fails to pay the mortgage, you may be hurt when applying for future loans.
4. Wills and trusts can also be seriously impacted by divorce proceedings. If divorced spouses wait unnecessarily long to change a beneficiary on a will, for example, the money may go to the wrong person-your new spouse may get nothing, while your ex spouse inherits the amount provided for in your will.
5. Finally, NEVER forget which amount of money in your divorce settlement is alimony, and which amount is child support. Whereas child support payments are not taxable to the recipient, alimony payments are. Furthermore, there are limits to how long a person can receive such payments-child support payments can no longer be received once the child turns 18 or is done with college, while spousal support generally ends once the recipient remarries.