EP 156: 5 Easily Avoidable Divorce Mistakes You're Making Today

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This episode will cover five easily-avoidable mistakes you may make during a divorce.

  1. Do not get divorced without getting legal advice.
  2. Do not fail to verify budgets and statements of net worth.
  3. Do not assume your attorney will take care of everything.
  4. Do not try to get through the divorce without a support system.
  5. Do not assume you can change your divorce settlement later.

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A lot of people think they can do a divorce themselves. Even if you are savvy, and your spouse is reasonable, you should still consult a lawyer. You may be able to hammer out 95% of the details on your own, but you want to make sure that you aren’t missing any steps. It can save a lot of time and headache later on.

This goes for both you and your spouse. You cannot guess on your personal statement of net worth or financial affidavit. Find exact, verifiable numbers. If you are incorrect, you could be accused of intentionally misrepresenting your finances, which can damage your credibility. Conversely, if your spouse is manipulating numbers, you will want to address it.

You are in charge of your divorce. It’s your life and your future. Your attorney is there to help you with the legal aspects of your divorce: navigating your local laws and formalizing a legal agreement. They are not there to review your financial information or calculate your budget – a certified divorce financial analyst can help you with those things. Your attorney is instrumental to the process, but you are ultimately in charge.

One of the biggest issues in divorce is the emotional component. You should have a support system so that you don’t go through it alone. That may mean finding a therapist, going to a support group, or confiding in close friends. Do not try to keep your emotions bottled up, because they may affect decisions you make during the divorce that will impact the rest of your life.

Many people think they can make changes later on, but that is not the case. There are limited circumstances where you can re-open certain issues, but it will always be an uphill battle to do so. The legal fees will be expensive, and it will also re-open emotional issues. Make sure that your settlement is right the first time. Sometimes it is helpful to have an outside opinion to review your case before you settle to make sure you are getting a fair deal.

Avoiding these mistakes will put you in a strong position to be successful for your life after divorce.

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Thank you for listening!

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.