As someone who has a medical license, doctors are trusted by many. They spend long hours at the hospital or clinic, which can often put a strain on marriages and relationships leading to feelings of resentment, loneliness, or boredom. Unfortunately, divorce amongst medical professionals is not uncommon.
Although the divorce process is difficult for everyone, it can be particularly challenging for physicians who are busy attending to patients, often with life-threatening and time-sensitive ailments. The emotional toll of caring for sick patients, along with the physical demands of preparing for divorce may seem overwhelming and daunting.
Some mistakes to avoid when divorcing:
The first mistake to avoid when you’re divorcing is not working with experienced counsel. Obtain references from friends, colleagues, and family. Review a firm’s online presence. Look at the qualifications of the lawyers within a firm. Consider interviewing several lawyers. If you are a partner in a medical practice, it is important to work with counsel who has significant equitable distribution experience and experience working with financial experts such as business valuators, forensic accountants, business attorneys, and tax professionals.
Another common mistake is not disclosing as much information as you have available to your lawyer, including information about the marriage, the reasons for the breakup, the finances, each spouse’s role within the marriage, and other pertinent information. The more information your lawyer has, the better the ability of the lawyer to best protect your interests.
Finally, a third mistake that a lot of physicians make when divorcing is to assume that the marital property will be divided equally or disproportionately in their favor. In Virginia, the division of marital assets and debts is done through equitable distribution. In Virginia, this does not automatically mean that assets will be divided equally, nor does it mean that just because one spouse earned more than the other spouse that the higher earning spouse will receive more of the marital assets. The process of equitable distribution is nuanced and there are many different factors for consideration.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you go through your divorce. While you may not have much time to focus on it, divorce is a situation that requires significant time, attention, and organization.