Divorces are stressful, emotional, and financially complex. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps if you are considering divorce. Before you move forward, consider the following information to help you avoid dangerous divorce mistakes.
Before Your Divorce
Before you make any movement towards divorce, your actions and behavior will create a foundation upon the way your divorce will proceed. Everyone knows that divorce is never pleasant for any party involved, but taking these steps can ensure that you make no mistakes before the divorce begins.
- Be Sure. Before you serve divorce papers or visit a divorce attorney, be sure that you want a divorce. Once you serve divorce papers on your spouse, you may never have an attempt at reconciliation to salvage the marriage. It is wise to always take time to ensure that you are making the best decision for you and your children.
- Know Your Finances. Make sure you have a complete grasp of your financial situation before you file for divorce. After checking all accounts, safety deposit boxes, retirement accounts, and safes, consider changing your passwords for the accounts you have in your name only before you serve divorce papers.
- Child Custody. The courts will typically make child custody decisions based on what is considered in the best interest of the child. Create a game plan for what your child custody preferences are before you even file for divorce.
- Living Arrangements. Never leave your marital home before a divorce unless you or your children are in danger. Once you leave your marital home, you may have a difficult time moving back into it legally.
During Your Divorce
You may feel emotionally, financially, and legally overwhelmed after you serve divorce papers and the divorce process begins. Make sure to avoid the following mistakes.
- Communication. While a divorce is by nature, adversarial, you should attempt to communicate with your spouse in a calm and reasonable way, no matter the circumstance. Instead of a battlefield, consider the divorce process as a negotiation to help both sides get some of what they want.
- Mediation. Some couples are so angry that they refuse the idea of the mediation process. However, this tool can help find common ground and provide a more amicable negotiation between both you and your spouse as well as reduce conflict.
- Children. Never use your children (or the court system for that matter) as a bargaining tool within the divorce. Try to keep them out of it as much as possible. Consider having your child visit a pastor, priest or therapist to help them through this time.
- Avoid Social Media Completely. One of the greatest and most dangerous mistakes people make during a divorce is posting incriminating and damaging content on social media. It has been proven repeatedly that social media posts can absolutely negatively affect your case. Wait until your divorce is completely finalized to post anything about your current activities or the divorce on social media. Just as important is that you should never delete anything that you post on social media. A court may consider any deletion of a post, picture, or tweet on a social media account as an attempt to destroy evidence, which is an illegal act.
- Never Lie or Hide Anything. Never lie to a court or attempt to hide marital assets. This mistake is not only unethical, but an illegal act that can cause you to substantially lose a lot of ground in your divorce case. Additionally, you may be charged with fraud.
After Your Divorce
You should always comply completely with any court orders that are given both during and after your divorce. Attempt to maintain healthy communication with your ex-spouse and never bad-mouth your ex-spouse to your children.
Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney
The most dangerous divorce mistake a person can make is not hiring an experienced divorce attorney to represent their legal rights. Contact the Law Office of Michelanne Hrubic at 951-256-4705 to discuss your legal options and help ensure you do not make any mistakes that can impact your child support, child custody, or your finances.