One of the most difficult tasks law firms undertake is when a client comes to them for help having done something or taken an action that negatively impacts their divorce. One of the problems here is that rather than there being just a handful of mistakes that a family lawyer may be asked to help resolve for a client, there are dozens of them.
However, there do tend to be some mistakes that occur more than others, and so we believe it will be useful to anyone reading this who might be going through a divorce to learn of them. As such, here are ten common mistakes you must avoid before, during, and after your divorce.
Not Seeking The Help Of A Divorce Lawyer: One of the biggest mistakes, even if your divorce is amicable, is not seeking legal advice from a divorce lawyer, especially if your ex has hired one. At the very least they can ensure your divorce follows the correct legal procedures.
Assuming Your Divorce Lawyer Can Do Everything For You: As much as your divorce lawyer will do all they can to properly represent you, they cannot do everything. You will need to calculate your assets and liabilities or seek a new place to live, for example.
Not Keeping Notes And Records After Separating: When it comes time to resolve your property settlement it will rely on lots of documentation including that from the time of your separation which can be over a year. In that period, you must keep notes and records, especially of your finances.
Trying To Rush The Whole Process: Whilst you might be desperate to legally end your marriage as soon as possible, it can only happen as quickly as family law and the Family Court will allow. Little will be gained by cutting corners or agreeing to an unfavourable property settlement simply to speed up your divorce.
Refusing To Compromise On Anything: Yes, a divorce can be acrimonious but at the same time it does require reasoned negotiation and if you refuse to back down or compromise on anything, you might find the court takes a dim view and awards you a worse property settlement then you might have had otherwise.
Letting Emotions Dictate Rather Than Logic And Practicality: It is not surprising that those who can set aside their emotions and approach their divorce with a degree of practicality and logic when making decisions, find the whole process less taxing and generally more in their favour.
Using Children As Pawns: The worst mistake any parent can make when divorcing their children’s other parent is to use those children as ammunition in some way. This is not only detrimental to the children, but if the Family Court sees evidence of the behaviour it can result in a highly negative outcome.
Hiding Money And Other Assets: Naturally, you will want to receive the best possible property settlement and financial arrangement following your divorce but do not try to game this by hiding assets, such as shares or cash. Apart from being illegal, the Family Court will look extremely negatively on any such actions when considering financial orders.
Not Planning For Your Post-Divorce Life: It is easy to be so caught up in your divorce that your mind is only focused on each day as it comes. However, even in the early stages, you should be making plans for your future including finances, where you will live, your career, and your children if you have any.
Carrying On Fighting After The Divorce: The Beatles’ song “Let It Be” is applicable here. Following your divorce, do not make the mistake of thinking the fight continues as it will only lead to disappointment and frustration, especially if you think the Family Court is going to readily amend your divorce order, as it will not.