Not controlling your anger. Tempers tend to flare during a divorce, especially in the early stages. You could say or do something that could come back to haunt you later in court, so one of the best things you can do is to control your temper and walk away from any volatile situation. Even if your spouse is being completely unreasonable, keep telling yourself to stay calm and reasonable.
Not hiring a divorce attorney. Even if your divorce is amicable, you need a legal expert on your side to protect your interests, not hers.
Being punitive about possessions. There’s a great scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally where Harry (Billy Crystal), who has weathered a divorce, gives advice about possessions to his friends Jess and Marie, who have just moved in together:
Withholding property just to be vengeful makes the divorce process more difficult than it needs to be. As you go through property division, be sure you have a good reason for wanting to keep something or be wise enough to recognize you may just be holding on to it to be punitive.
Being passive. If you are the reason for your divorce — whether you cheated or you initiated the divorce for other reasons — you may feel guilty and ready to let your wife get and do whatever she wants. This is a mistake. If your spouse is out for revenge and you just want it to be over, you may acquiesce to unreasonable demands. If you do, you will regret it. It is much harder to try to untangle an unfair settlement that you agreed to than it is to get it right in the first place. If you’re feeling guilty, work it out with a therapist.
Keeping joint accounts. Once you decide to divorce, you should separate your bank accounts from those of your soon-to-be ex’s accounts. Open an account in your name only and move enough of your joint account funds there to take care of yourself, leaving enough for your wife to do the same.
Dating too soon. Stay out of new relationships until you are legally divorced. Many times men will start new relationships too early that only make an already emotional situation more volatile. Bringing a new woman into the picture, especially if you have kids, is a red flag you don’t need to fly in front of your spouse.
It is important that you do not wait too long to retain an attorney when you are facing a family law issue. Delays can cost you valuable legal rights, and you want to make sure that you have the advice and support you need to make the best decisions for you and your family long after the divorce settlement is reached. Contact us today for your free consultation.