You and your spouse are splitting up, and you initially thought you’d probably retain enough in assets to retire — something you planned to do before your spouse brought up the divorce in the first place. You know the two of you have significant wealth, you know you deserve a good portion of it, and you’re already planning the next stage in your life.
Your spouse, though, is fighting you every step of the way. He or she is trying to keep far more of the assets than you believe is fair. You’re not thrilled about the idea of a long court case, so you’re thinking about settling for less than you deserve. You just want to be done and move on.
That’s a natural feeling. People have it all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
After all, would settling for less derail your plans? If you give up what you deserve, are you going to be hard-pressed for money? Are you going to have to work when you’re past the standard retirement age?
In two months or two years, are you going to regret going so quickly with the divorce? You thought you were trying to get it over with, but the reality is that you’ve just trapped yourself. The divorce will have a huge impact on the rest of your life and you’ll think of it every day.
Instead, experts say that it’s often wise to expect the divorce not to be a sprint, but a marathon. It’s going to take time. It may be hard. It may be emotional. You may wish it was over. But settling in for the long haul can help you for years to come.
Remember that you don’t get another shot. You don’t get a do-over. Once the divorce gets finalized, that’s it. Make sure that the final resolution is one you’re happy with. You can’t take a break and do this all over again when you’re thinking more clearly.
It’s also important to project into the future. For instance, maybe you thought you’d get about $1.5 million in the split, but your spouse’s financial projections say you’d get about $800,000. It sounds like a lot, but what if you have unexpected expenses? What if you can never work again? What if the cost of living on your own is higher than you’re used to?
Really think about the difference. Either outcome may give you significant assets up front, but the distance between those numbers is drastic. What will twice the money look like in five or ten years? Thinking of the big picture often helps you keep things in perspective so that you see the true value of those assets.
All through the process, make sure that you know your legal rights under the divorce laws in Texas. Be sure the resolution is fair and respects those rights. Don’t put them aside to rush through it.