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Family law: Financial mistakes to avoid in divorce

Preparing for a divorce is one of the great unspoken challenges involved in ending a marriage. However, many family law experts both here in British Columbia and elsewhere advise individuals considering divorce to prepare in advance of filing papers with a court. There are several mistakes that can be made during this period that could have long-term effects on both spouses moving forward into the divorce process. 

One of the most important parts of handling a divorce is to be financially prepared. Some divorces can become costly, depending on the specifics of the individual case, but in all cases, setting up a scenario in which one party is not wholly financially tied to the other is an important starting point. Opening individual bank accounts and monitoring credit ratings are both vital to ensuring a strong credit rating and the security of a spouse's funds prior to starting the divorce process. 

Along the same lines, preparing financial documents is another important step. Any divorce will require a full accounting of both parties' individual and joint finances in advance of determining asset and debt division. Having documents like tax returns, chequing and savings account statements, vehicle titles and other financial documents prepared in advance can shave valuable time in a divorce proceeding. 

Family law experts consistently argue in favour of preparedness on the part of both spouses before a divorce is undertaken. Here in British Columbia, considerable support exists that can help both parties prepare their documentation and begin the process of drafting divorce documents. The help of experienced divorce attorneys can speed the process and often can lead to a more mutually satisfying settlement. 

Source:, "Coastal Divorce Advisors Shares Six Common Financial Mistakes to Avoid", July 13, 2017

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