When a couple has reached the point of divorce in their relationship, they face one of the most difficult and trying times in their lives. The decision to divorce begins to tear away the moral fiber of the family, long before a couple enters a courtroom. During such an emotional time, the help of an experienced and qualified divorce attorney is invaluable.
Below 4 mistakes that are commonly made by a divorcing couple:
Avoiding these errors will ensure a positive future for all people involved.
1. Keeping Your Desire for a Divorce Secret
When divorce is inevitable, honest communication is key. No matter how hard it is, your partner deserves the respect of being told of your plan to divorce. Sneaking around to accomplish your agenda without letting your spouse know, is immoral and it destroys trust. While you may not think trust matters at this point, you are wrong. There are many details to attend to when dissolving a marriage, and taking “shots” at each other will make them more painful and less productive. Here are a few examples of behavior that will destroy trust:
Here are examples of behavior that will destroy the trust that is needed to peacefully navigate the divorce process.
- Moving possessions out of the home a little at a time so your spouse will not notice.
- Talking about your spouse to your family and friends in a negative light.
- Securing a new living arrangement before your spouse knows you are leaving.
- Changing important things like insurance coverage, bank accounts, and mailing addresses for your mail.
- Being stubborn and unwilling to reach any agreement with your spouse regarding separation.
- Dating and putting yourself on the “market” before the divorce is final.
- Using your child to side with you just to hurt your spouse.
- Hiring a strong-willed attorney for the purpose of punishing your spouse.
2. Underestimating Financial Needs
Money is probably the single most fought about topic during a divorce. No matter how involved a person is in the family finances, rarely will they know every financial thing that needs to be addressed. There are so many financial considerations in a divorce that we could write an entire article on this mistake.
Below are tactics couples use during a divorce that can harm them when they go to court.
- Sometimes we think we need less to live than we do. Reality never quite compares to the numbers on the paper. Living expenses, child care, illness, and job loss are facts of life. If a person is surviving on a financial tightrope, they are asking for disaster.
- Failing to consider investments, interests, taxes, and other financial matters can ruin you financially.
- Trying to hide or hoard money so your spouse is unaware of it.
- Trying to save money by canceling health insurance policies, life insurance policies, and automobile insurance.
- Selling possessions before your spouse knows of your divorce plans.
- Canceling credit cards, or charging excessively for spite.
3. Giving it all Away
Some people simply think they can walk away with the shirt on their back and give their spouse everything and everyone will be happy. The truth is, both spouses will have responsibilities to creditors, the children, and their future. While walking away seems like a good idea when you want to escape the fire, it will come back to haunt you. Instead of throwing up both hands in defeat, allow your attorney to negotiate a settlement that works for everyone.
4. Not accepting mediation
Even in the most civil divorces, problems arise from property division, child custody, child support, retirement considerations, financial obligations, and alimony. Allowing a mediator to advise with a logical and fair agreement that benefits both spouses and more importantly protects the children keeps down the cost of divorce and helps alleviate conflict.
Seek further help if you need help with co-parenting or learning to maintain a positive parenting relationship.
It is important to conduct yourself properly during divorce. If the judge believes you are hiding assets or being unreasonable, they may lean more toward the spouse who is putting the needs of the children first, and trying to maintain a healthy relationship with their soon to be ex.
Being difficult as a way to hurt each other, fighting, and being cruel will not earn you any points with the court. Instead, opt for a civilized and fair divorce for the sake of everyone involved. Now is the time to love your children more than you dislike each other. Being an adult means we do not always have to act on our feelings. Divorce will test you, but with the right support and attitude, you will get survive and come out stronger.
Carla Beth says
Most of this is okay but totally disagree with not taking the lead in the divorce, especially if you find out your spouse has been cheating. You have to protect yourself in every way. If a spouse has been lying about extra-marital sex and relationships, he’s lying about a bunch of other stuff. Do get the best lawyer, do get a jump on fully uderstanding where all the assets are, pulling credit reports, finding out if your spouse has other addresses he’s using for credit cards, etc. If he’s cheating with a co-worker for worse, someone who works under him, good bet that’s a big company policy violation and you can use it against him. Don’t get him or her fired, just get everything else you need for your financial stability and our children’s.