Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences a person can endure. The process is often long, contentious, and emotionally draining. It’s essential to avoid doing anything that could damage your case to make things easier on yourself. There are many mistakes that people make during a divorce, but these are some of the most common:
1. Not hiring an attorney
Many people try to handle their divorce independently, thinking it will save them money. However, this is often a mistake. Hiring an attorney from a professional divorce law firm can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and get the best possible outcome for your case.
When looking for an attorney, find one with experience handling cases like yours. Some attorneys specialise in high-asset divorces, while others have experience with custody disputes. You should also ask for referrals from friends or family members who have been through a divorce.
You should also feel comfortable communicating with your attorney and confident in their ability to represent you. Make sure to meet with a few different attorneys before making your final decision.
2. Failing to gather financial documents
One of the first things your attorney will ask for is a complete financial picture of your assets and debts. This includes bank statements, investment accounts, credit card statements, and tax returns. These documents will help your attorney determine what property is marital and subject to division and how to divide debt fairly.
If you don’t have all the necessary documentation, your attorney may need to subpoena records from your bank or other financial institutions. This can be a time-consuming and costly process. To avoid this, gather all necessary financial documents before meeting with your attorney.
3. Not creating a budget
Another essential step in the divorce process is creating a budget. After finalising the divorce, this will help you and your attorney understand your financial situation and needs. When creating a budget, you need to be honest about your income and expenses.
If you’re unsure where to start, many online resources and budgeting tools are available. You can also ask your attorney for help. They may be able to refer you to a financial planner or accountant who can help you create a budget that is tailored to your unique situation.
Some people try to hide assets when creating a budget, thinking it will help them in the divorce. However, this is a mistake. If caught hiding assets, it could damage your credibility and jeopardise your case. Always be honest when creating a budget and gathering financial documents.
4. Talking about the divorce on social media
Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but you must be careful about what you post during a divorce. It can be used as evidence in court if you post anything about the divorce.
This includes posts about your spouse, child custody, financial settlement, or anything related to the divorce. Even if your account is private, there’s always a chance that someone could screenshot your posts and share them with your spouse or their attorney. If you must discuss the divorce online, be sure to do so in a public forum or with an attorney present.
5. Arguing with your spouse
Although it’s natural to want to argue with your spouse during a divorce, it’s essential to avoid doing so. Not only will it make the process more difficult, but it can also damage your relationship with your spouse and make it harder to settle.
If you have children, it’s vital to avoid arguing in front of them. Seeing their parents argue can be very damaging to their health. You should also avoid arguing with your spouse in front of family and friends, as it can make them feel uncomfortable and put them in the middle of the divorce.
Communicating with your spouse during the divorce is essential, but you should do so respectfully and civilly. If you get angry, take a step back and try to calm down before continuing the conversation. You may also choose to communicate through your attorneys, which can help to reduce conflict.
The divorce process can be complicated and stressful, but there are some things you can do to make it easier. If you’re going through a divorce, avoid making these common mistakes. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Always remember to put your children first and communicate with your spouse respectfully.