One important reason why divorces do not proceed smoothly is a lack of preparation and knowledge. Too often only one spouse fully understands the family finances, which may leave the other spouse vulnerable to manipulation.
When one spouse handles nearly all of the household investments and finances, it is too easy for that financially literate spouse to take advantage of the financially less literate spouse, especially in times of stress and disagreement like a divorce. Thus, it is important that both spouses become financially literate. Each party’s income, the family income tax returns, investment and account statements, should all be reviewed and understood, if necessary, with the help of an accountant and divorce attorney.
In addition to learning about the household finances, it is also important to know about the law in the state you live. Understanding the difference between separate and marital property, and the application and effect of equitable distribution laws, will provide a strong basis for negotiating the division of assets.
While preparation and knowledge can go a long way, the best tool anyone can have in a difficult divorce is a strong advocate working on your behalf, one who can help you understand your rights, and help you reach your goals.