If you are divorcing or considering a divorce in southern California – or if you are anticipating that your spouse may be about to divorce you – there are a number of mistakes that you must be careful not to make during the divorce process.
But, what exactly are the most common mistakes that people make when they’re divorcing? How can a divorce law firm in California help? You’ll learn how these mistakes can hurt you and how to avoid making them.
WHAT’S THE FIRST MISTAKE TO AVOID IN A DIVORCE?
The first mistake that you must avoid – even before the divorce process begins – is made by far too many people. It is failing to learn about all of your legal options and alternatives before you file for a divorce.
Discuss your options with a divorce attorney you trust before you take any formal legal action.
For some couples, separation or annulment may be a better option than divorce. If divorce is the choice, arbitration or mediation may be a better option than a formal courtroom divorce trial.
An experienced Orange County divorce lawyer can explain all of your legal options, help you make the right choices, and defend your interests.
WHAT OTHER MISTAKES DO PEOPLE MAKE DURING A DIVORCE?
What are some of the other mistakes that too many people make when they divorce in California?
You cannot overlook the tax implications of a divorce, and that’s another mistake that divorcing spouses make far too frequently. Whenever investments, property, and sums of cash are transferred, your taxes will be affected.
That’s why you must be advised by a skilled divorce attorney who fully understands the tax and financial issues that may arise during a divorce.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU TRY TO HIDE ASSETS IN A DIVORCE?
Another financial issue is the division of marital property and assets. Attempting to hide assets and failing to disclose fully all of your financial details are big mistakes.
It’s imperative for both spouses to be candid and forthright. If you’re not, your spouse’s attorney will find any hidden assets or otherwise show how you’ve failed to make a full disclosure.
By law, marital (or “community”) property is supposed to be “equitably” divided in a California divorce, but sorting out who owns what can be difficult, particularly when a divorce is acrimonious and when the property and assets are substantial.
HOW CAN A DIVORCE ATTORNEY HELP?
It’s imperative to work with an attorney who will make sure that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly through every stage of the divorce process.
Once papers have been filed and the divorce process actually begins, any failure to listen to and follow your divorce attorney’s advice will be a mistake.
However, for most people who are divorcing, the mistakes they make are not mistakes regarding their legal options or finances. Their mistakes are linked to their attitude and emotions.
WHY IS IT IMPERATIVE TO CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS IN A DIVORCE?
Many people who are divorcing experience strong emotions, and that’s quite normal. There is nothing wrong with talking to a counselor about your feelings, but during the legal proceedings and negotiations, you must be in control, and you must think logically and clearly.
If you respond to a divorce by drinking or doing drugs, you’ll only be hurting yourself, and if you are a parent, you’ll be putting your custody rights at risk.
Here’s what else you must not do: Do not lose your temper, and do not leave angry or threatening messages, emails, or voicemails. All you will be doing is hurting yourself, and you could end up on the wrong end of a restraining order – or worse.
Along the same line, if you and your spouse are parents, don’t undermine the other parent in front of the children. Those kinds of comments will not help the kids and won’t help you either.
WHAT DO DIVORCE COURTS EXPECT FROM PARENTS?
A divorce court in California wants to see the parents cooperating and putting their children’s needs ahead of their own. Let your children have the space and privacy they need in their relationship with the other parent.
Anything you do that negatively impacts your child or children could be used against you by your spouse.
In fact, overlooking your children and their needs is another mistake that too many parents make during the divorce process.
If you have children, you are only one player in the divorce. Putting your children’s needs and interests first is best for them, and it helps you to take your focus off of yourself.
WHAT OTHER “EMOTIONAL” MISTAKES DO PEOPLE MAKE IN A DIVORCE?
Another mistake made by far too many divorcing spouses is “living in the past.”
The future is yours, but you must choose to live in it. Far too many of the people around us are still suffering and torturing themselves about a divorce that happened ten or twenty years ago.
Let it go. Again, don’t hesitate to talk things over with a counselor. In Orange County and throughout southern California, counseling resources are abundant in both the private and public sectors.
HOW WILL YOU NEED TO BEHAVE DURING THE DIVORCE PROCESS?
During the divorce process, you must act as if you are under surveillance. That’s because, in a way, you are. Your spouse’s attorney is probably investigating every aspect of your life.
One thing that you might consider is abstaining from social media. Any comments you make on Facebook or Twitter can probably be twisted and used against you, and any photographs that you post will be closely scrutinized. You can count on it.
WHAT ABOUT DATING?
Finally, dating someone while your divorce is pending is probably a mistake.
It might be seen as “revenge” or as “getting back” at your spouse. Judges in divorce cases generally take a dim view of a spouse who will not wait for the final divorce decree before moving into a new relationship.
Don’t become a “victim of divorce.” Don’t make any of the mistakes mentioned here. Instead, become a model of resilience and self-reliance.
You’ll also be helping yourself, and if you’re a parent, you’ll have the opportunity to teach your children some important lessons about handling life’s difficulties.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A DIVORCE LAWYER?
A divorce lawyer can help you avoid some of the mistakes that people make during a divorce. Once again, not speaking to an attorney at the very start of the divorce process is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make.
You have the right to legal advice and help. If you are divorcing, you’re going to need it. Do not wait or hesitate to make the call to a trustworthy and experienced divorce attorney.