One common pitfall of divorce in the St. Louis area involves divorce settlement. Many separating couples believe they deserve to receive what they want in their settlements. Little do they realize that divorces rarely end up that way. If you and your spouse cannot agree to a divorce settlement, the courts will do it for you. 

Many divorces become chaotic because couples cannot agree on how to separate their finances. It is possible for you to get most of what you want out of your separation, but you must be willing to negotiate. To avoid leaving your relationship with an unfavorable financial settlement, you should consider the following information. 

Know what you have to work with 

Not knowing the worth and location of all marital assets and potential joint assets can cripple you when it is time to negotiate. Ask your spouse for copies of all joint assets and accounts. Close joint accounts and establish personal accounts for yourself. No matter how much you trust your spouse, do not overlook the possibility of her or him hiding assets. 

Consider short- and long-term goals 

Do not lose sight of your goals. You should have short- and long-term goals in place to keep you on track financially. If you focus only on the short term, you could end up making decisions that leave you at a big financial disadvantage in the long run. 

Work together 

You might not want to see or discuss anything with your spouse, but negotiating with them can help you both get what you want with minimal court involvement. If there are joint bills, work out an agreement on who is going to pay them. Avoid doing and saying things that can complicate your divorce any further. 

You do not have to fight to get a fair divorce settlement. Fighting might seem like the norm. In reality, it can take longer to resolve the situation, increase your divorce expenses and make it harder for you to move on past the drama. You might want to speak with an attorney so you can avoid making mistakes in your divorce settlement.