10 Common Mistakes of Divorcing Couples
The sooner and more completely a couple can separate their feelings about the split from what they both know is a fair result, the smoother and faster the path to settlement.
Here are some frequently-made mistakes that will lengthen and roughen the road traveled to that settlement.
1. Preparing secretly. In preparation for a divorce, each spouse needs to gather financial records and take stock of the property. Some people will do so surreptitiously, thinking this will give them an advantage and help maintain control over the process. Instead, the secrecy will damage the trust that exists, for the advance preparation steps will eventually be revealed.
2. Failing to Discuss the Coming Divorce. The initiator of the divorce should be direct and honest about plans unless domestic violence is a concern. Instead, some people wait for their negative feelings or actions to be found out. This passive approach usually increases the cost of the divorce, for the non- initiator then feels the need to have all actions and documents examined by an attorney.
3. Making nasty comments. If children exist, the relationship between the couple will continue after the divorce. It will only take a different form, and cooperation will remain important. Avoiding the adversarial path will pay dividends later.
4. Confessing past sins. Confessing past sins. Revealing prior mistakes and betrayals like an affair may ease feelings of guilt but will fuel a spouse’s rage.
5. Mishandling bank accounts and credit cards. Some spouses take advantage by withdrawing more than their share from a joint bank account and by running up credit card expenses. The better route is to discuss in advance how to separate accounts and handle credit cards. If a joint approach is deemed unwise, then withdrawing half of the money from the joint account and opening a separate account is a good backup strategy.
6. Not freely sharing financial information. Lawyers can obtain financial documents using a variety of methods, but the more hours attorneys use to obtain and provide basic financial information the more time-consuming and expensive the divorce legal bills will be.
7. Hiding income and assets. Most income and assets leave a paper trail or other evidence of their existence. Private investigators have many methods for uncovering this evidence, and judges will frequently punish the concealer.
8. Beginning a new relationship too early. Many spouses are surprised by the jealousy their spouses exhibit when a new relationship begins before the divorce is finalized. The surest way to increase the difficulty of a divorce is for one spouse to get serious with someone else while still in negotiations.
9. Making the process harder than it needs to be. Being overly aggressive, stonewalling, acting dishonestly, and failing to trust will delay settlement. If conflict is increasing when it should be decreasing, both spouses need to examine their words and actions.
10. Continuing to fight. If children exist, exes can fight while they are minors over support or parenting plans. Continuing to battle after the divorce is final can be devastating financially and emotionally, as well as harmful to the children. Parents need to give the children an established place in each parent’s home (i.e. their own room, a place for toys, toiletries), assure their children they will hear about all major developments and changes, and invite them to make suggestions for the parents to consider
Mediation is one of the most affordable and peaceful methods of negotiating a divorce settlement. With our help as a neutral mediator, you and your spouse discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce in a confidential setting. There is no need to go to court. When children are involved, parents can work together on a schedule and arrangement that works best for everyone. If you want to give mediation a try, give us a call! (909) 377-8141
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