Divorce is not easy on anyone, but as a physician going through the dissolution of a marriage, there are unique obstacles to consider that, if overlooked, could make an already challenging experience even more difficult.
There are some common legal mistakes physicians make when going through a divorce, and it’s imperative to hire an experienced divorce attorney who has represented medical professionals and will be able to represent your best interest. Here are some common mistakes that physicians can make during the divorce process, and how to avoid them:
1. Hiring An Inexperienced Attorney: Physicians may often look to their corporate or health care counsel to represent them in their divorce – but that often proves to be a costly mistake. Doctors should seriously consider retaining a divorce attorney who is board certified in family law and is experienced in representing medical professionals.
2. Disclosing Limited or Incomplete Information: Withholding damaging information – such as an affair, funds spent during the affair, problems with the practice, and alcohol or substance abuse – from your attorney can have devastating consequences. Physicians should be completely candid with anything potentially damaging.
3. Under- or Overestimating the Value of a Medical Practice: Physicians often under- or overestimate the value of their practice or interest in a practice – and that value an be a highly contested issue in a divorce. Doctors should work closely with their divorce attorney and valuation experts to take the guesswork out of the equation.
4. Disregarding Deadlines and Information Requests: Divorce attorneys must often respond to discovery requests from opposing counsel with deadlines imposed either by statute or by the courts. Physicians should respond to such requests in a timely manner while providing the most complete information possible.
5. Not Enlisting the Help of Experts: The need may arise for expert advice – such as a valuation expert to value their practice or interest in a practice or a certified public accountant to assist in matters of federal and state tax consequences. Experts should be retained early if it is determined that they may prove necessary.
6. Exhibiting Malicious Motivation: Exhibiting malicious motivation – such as intentionally causing pain or humiliation to their spouse or engaging in inappropriate personal behavior such as taking a new love interest on an expensive vacation – could prove costly.
7. Not Being An Involved Parent: After spouses separate, physicians may struggle to make accommodations for their children while trying to keep up with their busy professional schedules. It’s important that they make plans for daycare and after-school care, as well as overnight childcare for when they are on-call.
The good news is that physicians going through a divorce who are aware of these mistakes, and take preventative measures to avoid them, will have a better chance of navigating the process without undue stress or complications.
Our Tampa family attorneys are experienced in representing physicians in a divorce. If you’re a physician seeking a divorce, contact Christina Anton Garcia at Anton Garcia Law for an experienced divorce attorney dedicated to ‘Representing Your Best Interests.’