No two marital dissolutions are alike. With that being said, a few mistakes are commonly made during the divorce process in California and elsewhere. One of these mistakes is pursuing a settlement that assumes the status quo.
A major goal during divorce is to achieve a fair split of a couple’s assets. This, of course, requires that both parties understand their present situation as well as the valuation of their assets. However, the problem is that, oftentimes, couples focus so much on their present situations that they ignore possible future events.
Unfortunate events may happen at any time following a marital breakup, including the loss of a job, disability, the major depreciation of certain assets, or even changes in a child’s health. If couples reach settlement agreements that rely too much on the assumption that the status quo will continue, they will sadly be unprepared for negative life-changing events. For instance, what would happen if one of the spouses became unemployed but both spouses had agreed to cover a child’s college costs equally?
In light of this, negotiating settlements that take into consideration what may change at some point in the future is critical. Both a financial advisor and an attorney in California can suggest ways to shield a spouse from the risks that unexpected circumstances pose. Sometimes, adding extra language in the divorce settlement agreement that outlines how unforeseen events should be handled may help to protect a divorcing spouse from the negative impacts of such events long term.