Avoid Common Mistakes Made in Divorces
Every day, Mississippi marriages end in divorce. It’s likely that a majority of those ex-spouses, if they were honest, would admit to having made a mistake or two during their married days. After all, nobody’s perfect. But, usually, although certainly not always, by the time a marriage is damaged enough to consider divorce, the individuals involved are often more interested in assigning blame than accepting it.
Don’t: Allow Emotion to Rule Your Behavior
Many people enter the divorce process hurt, angry, sad, and vengeful. But no matter how strong the emotions may be, and how much a wounded spouse may want to “get even,” divorce should be treated as a business and legal transaction, never as a soap opera or revenge story.
The single greatest mistake one can make regarding divorce is to allow one’s emotions to rule one’s behavior rather than logic and dispassionate consideration
Don’t: Take Bad Advice from Friends and Family
Of course there are many more mistakes that people can make before, during, and after a divorce. And there are always other people around those people who are full of advice they want them to follow. Family and friends may mean well and believe that offering that advice is a measure of their support. But not all advice is created equal.
Don’t: Not Consulting an Experienced Divorce Attorney
And that’s probably the second biggest mistake one can make: not getting expert advice from an experienced attorney who is trained in the intricacies of the financial and legal aspects of the divorce process. All divorces are unique. And while the issues of each divorce (e.g., spousal support, child support, equitable distribution, etc.) are similar, every situation is different.
Don’t: Hire the Wrong Attorney
So, while engaging an attorney circumvents one mistake, having the wrong attorney is another mistake to avoid. It’s important to know that your lawyer is one who will follow your wishes; so you should do your research, interview several, and choose the one that will best represent you in negotiations and in court, if necessary. And once you have found the right one, listen to his or her advice but then make the decisions that work for you. Stay in control of your own case, and make sure your attorney doesn’t make any decisions without your approval. Finally, don’t use your attorney as a therapist – it’s not what they do.
Don’t: Engage in Domestic Violence
As already stated, the biggest mistakes that people make in a divorce generally occur when they allow their emotions to trigger unhelpful behaviors. Atop the list is perpetrating any form or threat of domestic violence, or stalking a spouse. Just under that big one is communicating with a spouse in an ugly, mean, or intimidating manner – and that includes abusive verbal language as well as the letters, emails, texts, and voice messages it’s all too tempting to send in a moment of anger. And any offensive communications made to an estranged spouse can be used as evidence by your spouse at a divorce trial.
Don’t: Engage in Parental Alientation
Another mistake is called parental alienation. It’s when one parent begins to talk badly about the other in situations when the divorcing spouses have dependent children. Putting down or disrespecting a soon-to-be ex-partner creates confusion, guilt, sadness, insecurity, and sometimes depression in kids. It’s a huge mistake to let anger and bitterness harm your children.
Don’t: Be Unreasonable
As hard as it may be, being reasonable in a divorce proceeding is the best way to get through it. A divorce requires negotiation. Avoid the mistake of thinking that you will get everything that you want, that the legal system is completely fair, that the court will always see things from your perspective, or that your spouse will be the epitome of cooperation. Once you’re involved in a court case, you’re part of an adversarial system. So maintain an attitude of equanimity. At the same time, don’t be afraid to advocate for your own needs. You have a life to live after your divorce, so try to settle your case in a way that will add to your happiness rather than increase your misery.
Don’t: Make Major Life Changes Before the Divorce is Settled
Finally, don’t make major changes in your life until after the divorce is settled. Don’t quit your job and move out of town; don’t start another relationship too soon; if you have children, don’t stop being their parent; and don’t spend your assets foolishly. Divorces can be expensive and they often generate tax and other economic ramifications up the road. Get through it first, and then figure out how to get on with the rest of your life.
Do: Contact Our Office To Schedule a Consultation
One mistake you won’t make is when you call Maley & Nicholas to represent you in a divorce proceeding. Our experience and expertise will be available to guide you through this most difficult period in your life. Call us to schedule an attorney consultation.