Going through a divorce is never easy. There are always legal, financial, practical, and emotional obstacles that must be overcome. With that said, there are certain actions that can make the entire process more arduous or prevent you from achieving your desired outcomes. It is important to know what some of these actions are and be intentional about avoiding them during your own divorce proceedings.
What Not to Do During Your Divorce
1) Act out of spite.
It is completely natural to feel angry about the end of your marriage and have some resentment toward your ex, in particular. Even when your anger is completely justified, however, it is important not to use the court system to enact vengeance and spite. Doing so can be not only expensive but also time-consuming and emotionally fraught.
Legal divorce proceedings should always be about making the best possible life for you and your children, not making your ex feel miserable. And if you do have anger you need to work through, counseling can be an effective tool.
2) Neglect your kids.
The divorce process can sometimes seem so involved that you may find yourself unintentionally distanced from your little ones.
Keep in mind that divorce is hard on them, too, and as your family goes through a season of change, they need a stabilizing presence. Make sure you create time to be with them and remind them that they are loved.
3) Use kids as pawns.
Worse than neglecting your kids is trying to use them as bargaining chips or turn them against the other parent.
Not only do these strategies never work, but they can backfire in big ways, potentially damaging the relationship you have with your children.
4) Make decisions out of anger.
One of the biggest dangers you will face during the divorce process is rash decision-making.
Keep in mind that any big decisions you make about where you will live and how you will use your money will be decisions you have to live with for years. The last thing you want is to make too many life changes without fully thinking through the implications. As you face big decisions, make sure you give yourself time to really think, seek legal counsel, and solicit advice from trusted friends or family members.
5) Expect to get everything.
During legal divorce proceedings, the goal is usually for both parties to split assets and liabilities as fairly as possible. What this means is that you are probably not going to get everything you want, nor is every single legal decision going to be made in your favor.
Working with a divorce attorney, you can seek an outcome that is reasonably positive for you and your ex, allowing both of you to roughly maintain your current lifestyle. However, this process will always involve a little bit of give and take.
6) Fight every battle.
As you approach your divorce, you may have a number of areas of conflict with your ex. For example, you may have strong opinions about who gets the house, who gets the car, who has custody of the kids, where the kids will go to school, who pays child support, and much more.
Many of these issues are crucially important, but keep in mind that every legal battle is going to require time and expense in order to resolve. For your own peace of mind, it is generally best to have a list of priorities. Rather than fighting every battle, talk with your lawyer about the areas where you need to draw a line in the sand and the areas where you are willing to just let things go.
7) Hide money.
If you find yourself worried about being the “loser” in the divorce, at least financially speaking, you may be tempted to shield your assets.
Not only does this never work, but it can compromise your standing in legal proceedings. It is always better to be fully transparent about your assets.
8) Compare divorces.
Remember that every situation is unique, and the outcome of your best friend’s divorce may not mirror your own.
Rather than comparing yourself with others, make sure you spend plenty of time talking with your attorney about the specifics of your case.
Get the Guidance You Need for Smooth Divorce Proceedings
As you seek to navigate the complexities of the divorce process, the importance of legal counsel cannot be overstated. If you live in Kentucky, reach out to the family law attorneys at Clagett & Barnett to discuss your divorce needs.