Many physicians make the difficult decision to get divorced each year. In addition to maintaining their rigorous career (sometimes including their own practice), these medical professionals also must face the critical decisions that go along with a break-up. Making the wrong decision during your divorce can cost you immensely. You may end up worse off financially, or your divorce may be dragged out for months or years. Unfortunately, male doctors may face even bigger risks than their female counterparts due to family court stereotypes about husbands and fathers.
Most doctors want to avoid these issues but aren’t sure what to look out for. Here, we’ve compiled some of the most common mistakes physicians should be on the lookout for as they navigate a divorce.
Choosing the Wrong NJ Divorce Attorneys for Male Physicians
Many healthcare professionals believe all family law attorneys offer divorce services for physicians in New Jersey. They may choose their attorney based on recommendations from non-physician family members and friends who have also gone through a divorce. This is a mistake due to the unusual nature of a physician’s divorce. A true physician’s divorce lawyer for men NJ must be familiar with the unique challenges you face, such as high alimony payments, the division of substantial assets, and the valuation of your practice. Before you sign a retainer with the first lawyer you’re referred to, look into whether that individual has experience helping clients who are divorcing as a physician in New Jersey.
Not Disclosing All Financial Information
Now is not the time to be lackadaisical when compiling information about your finances. Your divorce lawyers for NJ medical professionals must be aware of every asset you own and every debt you are responsible for. Purposely withholding information about your finances in an attempt to conceal the truth from your spouse’s legal counsel is illegal and comes with harsh consequences. Even making an honest mistake and leaving out information about retirement accounts, savings, and other assets is extremely detrimental to your case. It’s best to be thorough and honest with your lawyer.
In fact, your honesty with your attorney shouldn’t stop at finances. We recommend disclosing any information about your marriage that you believe could have an impact on your divorce settlement. Things like infidelity, alcohol or substance abuse, and problems with your practice should all be discussed with your lawyer before you sit down at the negotiation table with your ex.
Undervaluing or Overvaluing Your Practice
Not all physicians own a practice, but those who do face the difficult challenge of receiving an accurate evaluation of the asset during their divorce. Undervaluing your practice is likely to result in you making unnecessary concessions in the divorce agreement, while overvaluing it may leave you feeling blindsided during negotiations. Before you ever discuss the possible value of your practice, we recommend working with your attorney for physicians to hire a trusted business appraiser. This professional will provide a realistic and unbiased assessment of the value of your practice, which will help you when demanding an equitable divorce settlement.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
This mistake can be especially damaging to your psyche during the divorce. You’re already dealing with difficult emotions, so don’t set yourself up for additional stress by creating unrealistic expectations for your divorce. You may feel entitled to certain assets, joint custody, or a speedy divorce, but unfortunately, none of this is guaranteed until your lawyer has assessed the details of your marriage and finances. Set yourself up for success by having an upfront discussion with your attorney where he can explain which of your expectations are reasonable.
If you’re a male physician facing divorce in New Jersey, contact our team right away. Our NJ attorneys for male physicians will fight to ensure you have an equitable divorce.