One of the most common mistakes that I see during my mediations is that one spouse has made offers or conceded to giving away property without knowing their legal rights or the financial picture of their marital estate. They do this out of guilt, a low sense of self-worth, ignorance of their legal rights (particularly when it comes to gifts or inheritance) or because one (possible narcissistic) spouse pressured the other into an agreement, which is often a dynamic that caused the marriage to fall apart in the first place.


Your spouse will hold you to your promises throughout the settlement process even in the light of facts that show the agreement is inequitable, legally not required, or unattainable. Do not tell him her you will give up anything until you know the law, your rights, their rights and both of your living arrangements/budget post-divorce. It’s hard to take a promise back, these promises can cause a real sticking point in mediation and the spouse that received the promise may close his or her ears to the actual facts and become highly resentful. Although I believe that spouses should talk during the divorce process and sometimes some property look like it should obviously belong to one spouse, always qualify any discussions with the understanding that any agreements are tentative and still subject to getting advice from an attorney and a greater financial understanding from a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.