Divorce is a common occurrence in the United States. While many people navigate this process without any major issues, there’s no arguing that the law is complex and divorce is stressful. Before you know it, you might take actions that could prolong or even complicate your divorce proceedings. Here are some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid during the divorce process.
1. Advice and Representation
When you’re considering divorce or going through the process, it seems natural to discuss it with friends and family. But this is often a mistake because everyone’s situation is different. The best advice you’ll get will come from your divorce attorney, who understands your circumstances and is fighting to protect your interests.
That said, it’s essential that you hire a qualified family law attorney and be entirely forthright with them. They can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on. Your attorney will act as your partner in this process, so make sure you respond to their requests promptly and review all filings before they are submitted to the court.
Another significant mistake divorcing spouses make is allowing themselves to be taken advantage of regarding finances. Much of this stems from ignorance, but some of it can be a result of making emotional choices during the divorce process.
For example, it’s vital that you plan ahead and protect your financial future. This includes securing a fair property settlement during the divorce that takes into account your legal rights and new financial situation. You also need to update your estate plan, examine your tax situation, and plan for retirement. One of the worst decisions you could make is hiding information, documents, or assets during a divorce, which could result in dire consequences.
3. Emotions and Communication
There’s no doubt about it — divorce is a highly emotional process. But acting out of emotion isn’t the way to get the best results. Just the opposite. Some common mistakes people make during divorce that are fueled by emotion include:
- Refusing to communicate or compromise with a spouse
- Having impractical expectations
- Rushing through a settlement just to be done with it
- Assuming issues will clear up on their own
- Using oral rather than written agreements
- Not accepting mediation to negotiate issues
- Posting information on social media about your divorce
Using an attorney is one of the best ways to help ensure you make sound and non-emotional decisions about your divorce.
4. New Relationships
Making relationship decisions in the midst of a divorce is a common error and one that you definitely want to avoid. If at all possible, hold off on dating until your divorce is final. And, unless you plan to reconcile with your spouse, avoid being intimate with them during the divorce process.
If you have children, the courts want to see that you are putting their welfare and best interests first. This means you shouldn’t use your children to get what you want, criticize your spouse to your children, or use your children as a messenger between you and your spouse.
Speak With an Experienced Washington State Divorce Attorney
Once your divorce order is signed, you don’t get to go back and ask for a re-do if you’ve made a costly error. It’s important that you approach your divorce as if your future is on the line — because it is.
At Bighorse & Associates, we understand that divorce can be a complicated, stressful, and lengthy process. Our attorneys are here to listen to you and work hard to get you the best outcome from your situation. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.