The following are some of the most serious mistakes couples make before pursuing a divorce, but by no means does this article cover all common offenses. Still, by recognizing these easily avoidable divorce mistakes, you’ll make your life much easier if you decide to separate.
When a divorce becomes a serious possibility, many couples start to plan financially for their transition into becoming a single income earner. And sometimes spouses take it upon themselves to divide assets before legal proceedings.
Even when a prenuptial agreement has been signed, it’s the function of a family law judge to make a final determination on the division of assets. By trying to deal with a division on your own, you interfere with the judicial process and it complicates the whole procedure. This may eventually lead to a negative ruling and some pretty serious consequences. In fact, if the assets are hidden and they are substantial, the penalty could involve jail time.
Cutting off a spouse from income is also a common mistake. If one of the spouses isn’t a wage earner, they are still eligible to receive income from the marriage. As with assets, making a presumptuous call on income is likely to have negative consequences on the court’s ruling.
Another common mistake spouses make, usually, men are leaving the home once another spouse requests a divorce. When a spouse leaves the home before a divorce is finalized, especially if they stop paying bills, the courts may interpret this as abandoning the family. This may have a negative impact on both divisions of property and parental responsibilities.
Feelings of betrayal and anger are typical of divorce. For the sake of the children though, any outward expression of anger should be avoided. Although you and your spouse consensually agreed to form a relationship, the same can’t be said for your kids. For your son or daughter, you and your spouse are the only parents they have ever known.
Although most kids recover about two years after a divorce, a small percentage of children suffer longer-term psychological issues. Hostility between spouses can be emotionally traumatic to growing adolescents. In fact, according to Scientific American, “Researchers have consistently found that high levels of parental conflict during and after a divorce are associated with poorer adjustment in children.” So do yourself and your kids a favor, keep your issues with your spouse completely separate from your relationship with your children.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to take legal advice from family and friends. If someone gives you legal advice about your divorce and they aren’t a practicing attorney, please realize that this isn’t helpful advice. Because property division and parental responsibility matters are so complicated, you can create legal and financial consequences that will permanently impact your life.
In fact, we would suggest that you raise the bar significantly higher when it comes to getting legal advice about your divorce. First, you should only retain a firm whose practice area is solely family law and divorce. This will weed out law firms that dabble in a broad array of practice areas. Second, law firms with multiple attorneys have a better chance of solving your issues because of pooled talent.
At Modern Family Law, we constantly come across scenarios that are unique, and we rely heavily on the pooled experience of our attorneys to solve issues. If you are considering a divorce, call us today for a free case evaluation.
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