The process of getting a divorce is fraught with emotion and it is easy to become overwhelmed by both the legal and financial issues surrounding divorce, which can lead to costly mistakes. Here’s how to avoid some of the most common divorce mistakes:
Have realistic expectations. Many people – especially those who feel they have been “wronged” by their ex – think they will walk away from a divorce with whatever they want. This is almost never the case. Keep your expectations realistic and focus on doing what you can to help your attorney present your best case.
Ask questions. Signing documents you do not understand is never a good idea, yet people do it all the time. Your divorce attorney can explain whatever you do not understand, so don’t be shy or intimidated about asking questions regarding any aspect of your divorce or child custody.
Check the facts. No one is infallible, including divorce attorneys. Read everything that your attorney prepares to ensure all the facts having to do with your divorce case are accurate. Once they are entered into the record, it can be a hassle to get them changed.
Tell the truth. It is not uncommon for clients to withhold information from their divorce attorney, but this is a flawed strategy. You should be clear about what you want the outcome of your case to be, including the things that may stand in the way of your attorney helping you achieve that desired outcome.
Take a logical approach. Yes, divorce is one of the most emotional events you will ever face. It is often hard to separate logic from emotion, but you need to try, especially when it comes to making legal decisions. Find a different outlet for your emotions, or you may harm yourself financially.
Hire a financial adviser. If you are having problems separating logic from emotion, let a financial adviser help you clear your head. Nothing snaps people back into reality quicker than a spreadsheet detailing what kind of income they can expect after a divorce. A financial adviser can help you understand the money consequences of your divorce when it comes to taxes, retirement and other estate planning issues.
Accept that your viewpoint is just that: yours. Your ex has their viewpoint and so does the judge, and neither of those will necessarily match yours. The judge is only interested in following the law, not in determining who was naughty and who was nice. Take a balanced approach, and your outcome is likely to be better than if you are contentious and expecting to use the court to exact revenge.
When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter. Contact us today for your free consultation.