When families undergo a life changing event such as a divorce, individuals can feel a wide range of emotions including anxiety, depression, anger and guilt. With the proper planning, parties to a divorce can work together to ease the transition for the entire family. Recognizing some of the most common divorce mistakes can help you avoid them in the future. The following are some of the most common mistakes divorcing couples make.
Using the Wrong Divorce Attorney
In order to ensure that your divorce proceedings are handled with both competency and compassion, be sure to use a qualified family law attorney who understands the complexities of divorce law. Choosing an inexperienced lawyer can result in mistakes that can be both costly and time consuming. Avoid law firms that appear to focus on quantity over quality. Divorce is an area of the law that requires individualized attention as no two divorces are alike. A good divorce lawyer will provide you with information about litigation alternatives that can save you time and money, such as mediation.
Following Inaccurate Legal Advice
With the internet overflowing with uninformed legal advice, individuals filing for divorce should use caution when believing what they read online. It can be tempting to follow the suggestions of individuals who are not familiar with the particular circumstances of your divorce or the legal requirements of the state in which you live. The divorce process is unique to each couple so even well-intentioned advice from friends or family members who have gone through the process should not be followed without consulting an experienced divorce attorney.
Filing for Divorce Before You Know All the Facts
Beginning the divorce process with a clear understanding of your current financial situation is the best way to avoid costly mistakes. Only when you understand the true nature of your family finances can you be best prepared for the proceedings that lie ahead. Make sure you have gathered all the information you need about your financial assets and liabilities in order to ensure both a fair and equitable property distribution.
Making Decisions Based on Emotions Rather Than Facts
It can be extremely difficult to separate emotions from facts when making decisions affecting your divorce. To set realistic expectations for the outcome of your divorce proceeding, be honest about your true motives, financial situation, and goals after the divorce. Do not let your emotions cloud your judgment when making important decisions that will affect your future.
Going Through the Divorce Process Alone
One of the most common mistakes people make is to attempt to handle the life changing process of divorce on their own. To successfully navigate your divorce, be sure to have a support system in place that can include not only family and friends but also licensed professionals such as therapists, financial planners or CPAs. Your attorney should not be your only support system through this sometimes difficult process.
Not Communicating Properly with Your Children About the Divorce
Using the divorce process to bad mouth your ex-spouse, especially in front of the children, is never a good idea. This type of behavior can worsen the situation with your ex-spouse as well as provide conflicting messages to the children who may already be feeling guilt and confusion over what has happened to the family. Be careful to avoid unintentionally putting down the other parent or making children feel responsible in any way for the divorce.
At the same time, it is important to keep the children informed about the divorce process to help them anticipate and prepare for the changes to the family. To the furthest extent possible, try to communicate with the children as a united front. Refusing to co-parent can be a divorce mistake that affects the wellbeing of your children for years to come.