While every divorce is unique, avoiding these common pitfalls can help make the process smoother and more equitable for all parties involved.
Divorce can be an emotionally draining and complex process. It’s not surprising that many individuals make mistakes along the way. However, understanding the most common mistakes can help you navigate your divorce with greater clarity and confidence. Here are ten of the most frequently made errors during divorce proceedings and advice on how to sidestep them.
- Leveraging the kids in the divorce process: It is crucial to remember that if your case involves a custody or parenting time dispute, involving your children in the conflict will only anger the judge. It is a well-known rule that children should be kept out of it. Talking to the kids about your case, using them as leverage in your battle against your spouse, putting your spouse down in front of them, or coaching them on what to say if they have to meet with a custody evaluator, a doctor, a therapist, or a judge is strongly discouraged. By doing so, you are not only harming your case but also hurting your children.
- Getting advice from friends, family, or the internet: It’s common to hear stories about someone’s friend who got everything they wanted from their ex-spouse in a divorce and are told to do the same. However, getting advice like this is not helpful as each case is unique and will be resolved based on your specific facts and circumstances. What one person is granted is often very different from what another person has been given. While friends and family are essential for emotional support, they are not legal professionals.
- Letting emotions drive decisions: Making decisions based on anger, guilt, or revenge can lead to regrettable choices. It’s crucial to approach divorce decisions with a clear mind and a focus on the long-term consequences.
- Failing to consult an attorney: Even if the split seems amicable, seeking legal counsel is essential. An experienced divorce attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring your rights and interests are protected.
- Lying to your divorce attorney: Your attorney is your advocate, working diligently to protect your interests. Therefore, maintaining an open and honest line of communication is crucial. Among the mistakes you should avoid when navigating any legal process, lying to your attorney is particularly grievous.
- Overlooking financial details: Not thoroughly understanding the family’s financial situation can be detrimental. Ensure you understand all assets, debts, incomes, and potential expenses.
- Hiding or failing to produce necessary documents: You have the right to see your spouse’s financial documentation, and your spouse has a right to see yours. The court will order you both to produce your financial documentation for each other. If you fail to do so, it will only cost you more money and time in the future. More importantly, if you fail to disclose certain accounts or documents, any agreement you reach could be voided, and the court will likely impose penalties on the offending party. Ensuring full disclosure during divorce proceedings will facilitate an equitable division of assets and liabilities.
- Rushing the process: While it’s natural to want a swift resolution, rushing decisions can lead to overlooked details or unfavorable terms. Taking the necessary time to handle all divorce aspects is better.
- Making oral agreements: It is essential to avoid making oral agreements with your spouse regarding any issues in your divorce, even if you have an amicable relationship. Legalizing all agreements in your written settlement agreement is essential to protect your interests. It is often challenging, if even possible, to enforce oral agreements, especially if your written agreement appears to incorporate the entire agreement.
- Neglecting Self-Care: It’s essential to prioritize your emotional and physical well-being. Engage in counseling, join support groups, and maintain healthy routines to navigate this challenging period effectively.
While every divorce is unique, avoiding these common pitfalls can help make the process smoother and more equitable for all parties involved. Always consult a professional law firm, such as the Betz Law Firm, to tailor this advice to your specific situation.
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