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Avoid these divorce pitfalls and get ahead

Everyone has an opinion on what you should do when your filing for divorce. There are some common mistakes that you should not make, though. Here are a few to avoid.

Rushing to file

First, make sure you don't rush to file your paperwork. You don't want to make mistakes, and you want to make sure you've really thought about this decision. This could be the biggest financial decision in your life. If you already bought a home or have children, those facts just add more factors that you have to consider.

Your goal should be to think about what you want out of your divorce. Bide your time. You may want to wait and start to collect evidence or financial documents before you suggest getting a divorce. You don't want to have to subpoena them from your spouse's employer or from your banks, and you certainly don't want to have to hire an investigator to find hidden funds.

Serving divorce papers during the holidays

Something else to consider is the time of year. You probably don't want to start a divorce during the holidays, especially if you have children. You can prepare in the meantime, though. File for divorce and make sure you know how long you have to serve your spouse. You can serve your spouse after the holidays in most cases, since you should have several weeks to serve the documents.

Going with your first attorney option

You may also want to take this time to interview different attorneys. Every attorney has a different way of approaching divorce, and you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the person you choose. Find an attorney who listens to you and wants to do what is in your best interests. Your attorney should never presume what you want out of your marriage, and he or she should be on your side.

Source: Market Watch, "What NOT to do when filing for divorce," Quentin Fottrell, Dec. 29, 2016

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