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Maintaining your financial security is one of your most important considerations when faced with divorce. Your main concern should be negotiating the best possible settlement agreement — one you know you can live with after the ink dries on your divorce decree.

There are many steps you can take to ensure you will come through the process financially secure. Below is a list of some commonly made mistakes when negotiating a divorce settlement — make sure you don't fall victim to them!

1. Never agree to a termination date for spousal support or alimony if the law does not require it. Make sure the wording in your divorce decree states that this issue has to be revisited in court before payments can stop. You may continue to need financial assistance from your ex-spouse past a date in your decree. You want to have the option of arguing against modification of support in court.

2. Never use the same attorney that your husband is using. So many women fall prey to this and end up regretting it later. Your husband's attorney is being paid to protect your husband's interests. You need an attorney who will protect your interests. Using one attorney will save money in the short-term but you will likely pay for it in the long-term.

3. If your husband assumes any debt that is jointly held, make sure your name is removed from the accounts. Do this before your divorce is final. If he refuses to pay after the divorce, you don't want your credit score negatively affected by his defiance.

4. Don't fight for assets you can't afford to maintain. Houses, boats, vacation homes, and automobiles all come with their own expenses. If your post-divorce budget is not going to allow you to keep up with those expenses then let those assets go. So many women fight to keep the family home — they feel it is important for their children to remain in the home they grew up in. In the end, these women suffer financially and live daily with the stress of having a home they can't afford.

5. If you have children who will one day go to college, make sure those expenses are negotiated now. Most states do not require a non-custodial parent to help with college expenses. Addressing this issue at the time of divorce will hopefully keep you from having to pay for college alone.

6. Finally, NEVER sign your final divorce decree without fully reading and comprehending every word. If you have doubts about what you read, don't allow anyone to make you feel guilty about not wanting to sign it. Don't sign your name to it until you are 100% satisfied with your settlement and the wording in the decree.

Cathy Meyer is the head of About.com's Divorce Support channel.

Related Articles:

10 Tips for Managing Your Settlement, by Kate Vunic

How to Renegotiate a Divorce Settlement, with Laurie Puhn (video)

Click the following for more articles and resource videos on Getting A Divorce

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11 comments

  • Comment Link maria Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16:33 posted by maria

    My husband sent me a settlement that he wants to keep the house. I want the house sold behind my back he refinanced the house plus took 40,000 dollars out of the equity. He also doesn't want to give me alimony an he is refusing to turn in his financial records since December. The judge gave him 21 days so today is the last day. I want what I deserve an think the house should go up for sale.

  • Comment Link DELOIS HOPKINS Tuesday, 25 November 2014 16:15 posted by DELOIS HOPKINS

    I COUGHT MY HUSBAND CHEATING ON ME WITH HIS MIS I DONT NO WHAT TO DO I WANT A DIVORCH BUT DONT NO WEATHER NOT TO GO WITH IT ARE NOT HE HAS 100.000 DOLLARS IN THE BANK AND GET VA PAYMENT FOR HIM AND I AND DONT GIVE ME A PENNY WHAT DO I DO I WANT TO GO TO COURT BUT SCARD THAT I MYT COME OUT ON THE BOTTOM

  • Comment Link Vanya Monday, 26 May 2014 12:17 posted by Vanya

    Got divorce to husband a 1year and 8months ago. The divorce decree states that the joint estate be divided equally. which the 2 of us had a verbal agreement on .he takes all the furniture and myself the car ( as he sold his car which I never benefit from). Now he claims he wants my car sold too. Can he do that and on what grounds, any advice?

  • Comment Link Marie Cockburn Friday, 10 January 2014 09:34 posted by Marie Cockburn

    I run a school paid property but belongs to husband now I want to get divorce cannot cope with alcohol any longer already doing it for 32 years. He wants me to fall claims rent for property

  • Comment Link Linda Killian Monday, 20 May 2013 17:14 posted by Linda Killian

    I was Divorced for 5 years and my ex-husband passed away. I gave up any claim to any of his assets, and that included Ins., IRA, etc. After his Death and his Estate was being settled, which was over $500,000.00+. He had chged all Wills, and everything else, house etc. I got $13,000.00 from a Insurance Policy that he did not chg. I was told by Lawyers, etc. it was mine. now, his son is sueing me for it. I have to get a
    Lawyer and i really don't think it is his. It will probably cost me thousands.

    Thks. Linda.

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 11 February 2013 05:54 posted by Guest

    we've been divorced about 8: we've been divorced about 8 yrs, but living together for 2 like we never div...hes cheating with my sister,so does he get our new house an everything

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 11 January 2013 08:43 posted by Guest

    finances: i gave up work to bring up our children and run our home. i had the same career as my husband.
    it has come to light that whilst we have a lot of debt in joint names, any assets are held solely in my husbands name .. all of my savings went to bailing us out whenever we got short. his name is on my bank account and he has removed my name from his main bank account... he refuses to give me details of his financial position. we have three kids in private school and a very large mortgage on an interest only basis.. his decision again. pls can anyone advise i feel sick

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 27 April 2012 00:43 posted by Guest

    SSD: Married only 6 years and I got cancer that shorten my life. Have no children and no more overtime in future can I collect social security disability with post office retirement?????

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 26 August 2011 17:41 posted by Guest

    alimony: My husband currently pays alimony to his first wife. If I divorce him, will I be able to receive alimony when he is still paying alimony to his first wife?5BFdd

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 31 January 2011 15:27 posted by Guest

    divorce : I am going through a divorce with my husband who wanted a higher share of the marital home even though I have two young children. Mediation have advised I am entitled to the higher share. He has now handed in notice to work and is saying he will not get another job and will not pay maintenance what can I do and what is his entiltement??

    Thank you

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 02 September 2009 00:16 posted by Guest

    Does it matter if its states the wrong State we got married in?: Me and My ex- husband got married in Tennesee on December 20 2005, But in our divcorce papers it says we were lawfully married in Newton county Ms, which is where we lived. We only went to Gattlinburge, TN to get married. Our divorce was filed in Lauderdale, Ms. That mistakes doesn't mean we are still married Does it? I hope not!!!! please help.. He was abusive to me and now im freaking worried that we may still be married.

    thanks