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The 5 Mistakes People Commonly Make During a Divorce
1. Leaving the Home During the Divorce
If you have been living with your spouse and children while your divorce is ongoing, it is common for one party to either voluntarily move out of the home or be pushed out of the home. Absent issues of domestic violence or concerns about child safety, judges are hard pressed to order a parent to leave the marital home against their will. Until a plan can be established between the parties addressing various issues such as custody, parenting time, child support, etc., it is advisable to remain in the home. Once a party moves out of the home, it is much more difficult to move back in.
2. Social Media
Be sure to keep your online presence clean and professional. A common question to ask oneself is “would my post to Facebook embarrass me if it were read/shown at church?”. Particularly in child custody disputes, each party is looking for evidence showing the opposing party as an unfit parent.
Contentious divorces are highly emotional, stressful, and difficult on all parties and children. One could write a book on the topic of emotions and how it can adversely affect a divorce proceeding. All too often, one party lets their emotions take over and they end up reading about their unreasonable behavior in a court document filed by their soon to be ex-spouse seeking full custody of the children. For example, divorcing parties have been known to place tracking systems (GPS) on their spouse’s phone or in their car. Judges do not look kindly upon this type of behavior; particularly if children are involved and the marriage is irretrievably broken and moving towards divorce.
4. Ask Questions
Family matters can be complex and involve a variety of issues from dividing the parties’ two homes to who gets custody of the dog. It is important to hire an attorney with experience handling family matters and who can address any and all questions or issues you bring up. Often, parties to a divorce will go through the motions without completely understanding all the issues and implications that can result from their decision. Bad decisions made during a divorce can haunt you for the rest of your life if you are not in complete control of the facts and educated properly by your attorney.
5. Do Not Keep Your Attorney Out of the Loop
Under the law, your attorney’s job is to zealously advocate for your interests while providing knowledgeable counsel during a very tough time. You have hired this attorney to deal with what may be a large list of issues. Withholding information from your attorney, which is protected by the attorney-client privilege, will only end up hurting your position when it comes time to finalize the divorce matter. Your attorney must be aware of any and all possible pitfalls that may exist, so they can be prepared and address those issues should they come up.