Shock. Anger. Disappointment. Sadness. These are emotions you’ll probably experience if your spouse just served you with divorce papers. Even when you’re the one who initiated the divorce, it’s natural to be clouded with all sorts of emotions.
Combine that with the fact that you have probably never done this before, and it is very possible you could make a critical mistake. Following the four pieces of advice below is a good starting point.
4 Things NOT To Do After Filing For Divorce
1. (Do NOT) Post incessantly on social media about your divorce.
We understand that social media is how many family members and friends keep up with major happenings in your life. So, it seems natural that you will want to notify your Facebook friends or Instagram followers. There’s not much harm in a bland, matter-of-fact post that lets people know what’s going on, but social media is the last place you should go to air your grievances. Remember: nothing on the Internet can be truly deleted, and things you say can be held against you in divorce proceedings.
2. (Do NOT) Go on a spending spree.
Retail therapy is real and helpful for a lot of people. If you have comforted yourself in the past by going shopping, you might want to rethink that method this time around. One major reason is that you must provide an incredibly detailed picture of your finances before your divorce is over. Someone who sees that you spent a large amount of money after filing for divorce could interpret that behavior as trying to dissipate marital assets. This means that you spent money that belonged to you and your spouse in order to keep it from your spouse in the divorce settlement.
Another reason to not spend substantial sums of money after filing for divorce is that you will probably need it sooner or later. Many people’s financial situations are tighter after marriage; women experience this disproportionately. Also, a good attorney will not be an inexpensive proposition.
3. (Do NOT) Fight in front of your kids.
Plenty of studies have shown that one of the most mentally or emotionally damaging things parents can do to children is to fight in front of them. We know how badly you feel about your spouse and how angry you often are. Still, to your kids, your spouse is their other parent. Children should not be made to feel like they must pick sides during the divorce. They will take their behavior cues from you, and seeing you lash out at your spouse may cause them to treat other people the same way.
4. (Do NOT) Go it alone.
There’s a common refrain among legal professionals who are asked whether or not it’s wise to divorce without an attorney. It goes along the lines of Yes, you are permitted to divorce without an attorney just as you are permitted to perform your own brain surgery. Many people (understandably) try to save money by divorcing their spouse without a lawyer, but there are so many ways that spouses can be taken advantage of without the help of a quality family law attorney. One mistake during the legal process, however insignificant it might seem to you, could create big problems for your side.