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5 Common Divorce Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Divorce, even under the best circumstances, can be a confusing and intimidating process. Divorce is usually a new, unexpected experience. Consequently, it is understandable that people make mistakes when going through this emotionally draining and complex time. However, by partnering with an experienced divorce attorney, you can avoid the most common errors. Working with an experienced attorney will help you understand the best steps to take before, during, and after a divorce.


While going through the divorce process, parties should work to avoid these common mistakes:


  1. Letting Emotions Guide Your Decisions. Divorce is an emotional time and there will be moments when your anger, resentment, or sadness is overwhelming. It is crucial to have a healthy outlet for these emotions so that you can deal with the divorce process and your soon-to-be ex as calmly and objectively as possible. Those emotions won’t go away, but you can work to make sure they do not lead to making poor decisions for you and your children.
  2. Keeping Your Children in the Dark. Your children do not need to be privy to all of the details about your divorce, including what led to it and what you and their other parent are fighting about. However, your children should be aware of what is going on and the changes they can expect to their daily lives. Once you and your spouse know the marriage is over and you will be moving forward with a separation or divorce, speak with your kids. Give them age-appropriate answers as to what is happening, why it is happening, and how things at home will change. Many find it helpful to seek out assistance from a therapist on the best way to break the news to your children.
  3. Refusing to Co-Parent. There is no one who knows your children better than you, and you are also an expert on your former spouse. If you have genuine concerns about your children’s safety and wellbeing with their other parent, then those issues should be addressed in court by your attorney and your attorney should fight to set up appropriate conditions, limits, or protections for your children. However, if you and your ex-spouse agree to a parenting plan or the court allocates both parents parenting time and decision making authority, then you need to do your best to co-parent. Refusing to co-parent under these circumstances only makes the situation harder on you and more traumatic for the children. Where appropriate, co-parenting is the best way to ensure you children retain loving relationships with of their parents and helps all parties to get through this difficult transition as smoothly as possible.
  4. No Plan for Life After Divorce. A divorce can be all consuming of your time and energy outside of working and parenting. While the process is unfolding, you are focused on handling the current problem and living day-by-day. Taking care of yourself and your family should be your top priority, but be sure to leave time to make a plan for what comes after the divorce is finalized. Life after divorce will bring with it a whole new set of financial, social, and emotional ramifications. For example, once you have your own household, your expenses may go up despite only having one income. You need to be prepared to live on a new budget. In addition, sharing your children’s time with your former spouse can be challenging, and you should be emotionally prepared for nights without your kids. Also, divorce has a way of changing your social circle. Be ready to say good-bye to some old friends and seek out new ones.
  5. Venting on Social Media. More and more attorneys are using online and electronic data as evidence in divorces, including social media posts. Nearly everyone is on social media, but be careful how you use those platforms once you know you are getting divorced. Your spouse could potentially use your photos, statuses, tweets, and comments to accuse you of cheating, being an unfit parent, or hiding money. Some attorneys recommend that you stop using your social media accounts altogether during a divorce. Speak with your attorney if you have concerns about social media content.


Do You Need Help with a Divorce?


If you are ready to end your marriage or your spouse has filed for divorce, contact me at (312) 621-5234. I can help you avoid common divorce mistakes and get you through this difficult time as smoothly as possible.