Some people in Connecticut facing the end of a marriage might feel that the person who walks away with the most money in the property settlement is the winner. This is a common approach to divorce but not often an ideal strategy for several reasons. Some couples own assets that are not liquid and therefore cannot be easily sold and divided. Furthermore, divorce settlements can affect the remainder of people’s lives, especially their retirement. A settlement with a larger short-term financial gain may not be what is best for the future.
A common divorce decision is to allow one spouse to keep the house, which might be nice if that spouse gets custody of children because it means less change for the kids to handle. However, people do not often consider the full impact of taking the house and having to then maintain it, make mortgage payments, pay property taxes and everything else on one income. Maintaining two households also becomes more of a challenge for retired persons or those getting ready to retire. Plans for retirement may no longer be sufficient to cover a divorced couple.
If possible, a collaborative divorce might help avoid many of the emotional and time-consuming issues seen in a traditional litigated proceeding. Instead of each spouse out for himself or herself, the former couple agree to work together with their attorneys and any third parties to fulfill each other’s long-term goals and get them what they need.
Approaching a divorce with the mindset of doing what is best for people’s futures more than for their immediate wishes to get as much as they can might result in a more pleasant and successful resolution. An attorney could assist clients in considering what their long-term goals are and then negotiate to get what is required to reach those objectives.
Source: Market Watch, “Divorce isn’t just about the money grab“, Larry Stein, July 28, 2014