Top Seven Divorce Mistakes to Avoid
Divorce is a difficult thing to go through. Mistakes are often made that could have easily been avoided. Here, you will find a list of the top seven mistakes made while going through a divorce so that you can steer clear of them.
PUTTING YOUR CHILDREN IN THE MIDDLEYou may wish to seek revenge against your spouse by attempting to limit the amount of time your spouse spends with your children. You may never want to speak to your spouse again so you use your children to relay messages to your spouse. Or, you may be angry with your spouse so you speak negatively about them to your children. Don't do it. All of these things are detrimental to your children.
Studies have been conducted that show involving your children in the conflict with your spouse can result in your children not being able to understand their own feelings or deal with others feelings. They have also shown that your children may grow up only knowing how to create conflict, rather than resolve conflict, and that your children may end up in unhealthy or unstable relationships.
In addition, involving your children in the conflict with your spouse can affect your custody and visitation rights. Judges do not want children involved in conflict. They may limit the parent that creates conflict time with the children or place restrictions on their time with their children.
FAILING TO HIRE AN ATTORNEYYou may believe you can handle your divorce on your own. While this may be true in some limited circumstances, it is important to recognize in what situations you may need an attorney and how hiring an attorney can benefit you.
If your case deals with sensitive custody issues, complex property matters, or domestic violence, you will likely benefit from having an attorney. Furthermore, you should hire an attorney if your spouse has an attorney in order to level the playing field and prevent your spouse from gaining an unfair advantage over you.
An attorney can provide you with expert advice on the specific issues in your case and discuss the possible outcomes of your case with you. They can help you navigate sensitive issues and complex property issues. They can also provide you with the resources to help you smoothly get through your case.
An attorney can also relieve some of your stress by handling your case for you.
In addition, an attorney can make sure you understand any proposed agreements and ensure that the agreements you do enter into are in fact what you want. Lastly, an attorney can make certain that all papers are filed correctly, your matter is not prolonged by the court rejecting your documents, and that all deadlines are met.
HIDING ASSETSYou may have an asset that you do not want to make known to your spouse for fear that you may have to share it, or you may not want to disclose all of your sources of income for fear that you may have to pay a significant amount of support to your spouse.
While it may be tempting to hide your assets or income, the consequences of doing so far outweigh any benefit you may receive. A court can award 100% of the asset to your spouse, or they can award any actual or potential profits from the asset to your spouse. A court can also impose sanctions against you, order you to pay your spouse's attorney fees and costs, and set aside any agreements you may have entered into.
TAKING ADVICE FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDSIt is very likely you know someone that has gone through a divorce. They have probably been quick to give out advice and tell you what to do or not to do. However, it is important to note that everyone's case is different and the outcome of specific issues can be very fact dependent. You don't want to learn this lesson the hard way by ending up in an unfavorable situation due to advice you followed that didn't fit your circumstances or was just plain bad. You should always consult with a knowledgeable attorney about your case.
LYING TO YOUR LAWYER OR THE COURTIt is absolutely essential that you are truthful with your attorney and with the court. Your attorney cannot fully assess your case and do their best job for you without full knowledge of the facts. Moreover, lying to the court affects your credibility and may result in the court ruling against you.
REACTING EMOTIONALLYEmotions run very high in divorce which is why it is important to think through your actions and any decisions you make. While you may be tempted to react hastily in order for your divorce to be over as quickly as possible, or you prolong your case in an attempt to punish your spouse who wants the divorce, you need to stop and think about whether your response is based on your emotions or is rationally based. An emotional based decision can lead to unintended consequences, unhappiness, and regret. It can also lead to costly legal fees.
NOT UNDERSTANDING YOUR FINANCES AND FAILING TO KEEP ADEQUATE FINANCIAL RECORDSIf you are thinking about divorce it is important that you take the time to understand your finances and gather all of your financial records before you leave. This information will help to ensure a fair outcome, prevent a power imbalance between you and your spouse, and reduce the time it takes to resolve your case because you won't be trying to obtain the information from your spouse.