Divorce, while an emotionally taxing journey, is also riddled with potential pitfalls that can amplify the stress and aftermath if not navigated correctly. Whether it’s misjudgments in legal proceedings or emotional missteps, knowing what to avoid can make all the difference.
Avoid These 4 Mistakes
By the time most contentious marriages reach the point of filing for divorce, there’s already a lot of pain and loss that’s been experienced. Thus, it’s important that you set yourself up well for the process that’s about to unfold.
“A divorce can last for many months – sometimes years – and we know from experience that the longer it takes, the greater the emotional damage and stress it can bring to families that are just trying to move on with their lives,” HGC Law explains. “Likewise, the choice to get a divorce can be hard, particularly if there are minor children involved.”
There has to be some compromise in a divorce proceeding – and you will make some mistakes. However, you want to ensure you don’t mess up in the following ways.
- Rushing Decisions Without Legal Counsel
On the surface, divorce might seem like a fairly simple separation. However, it’s far more complicated than most realize. While getting married simply requires a swift stroke of the pen and a couple of supporting documents, severing that marriage is much more complex.
Divorce involves a number of legal aspects, including the division of property, spousal support, and child custody (to name a few). Rushing decisions on your own without the proper legal counsel could easily put you in a compromising situation where your spouse ends up getting a better break than you.
The proper legal experts can help you negotiate a fair settlement and ensure you receive everything you’re entitled to under the laws of your state. A good divorce attorney also spearheads all of the paperwork and legal elements so that you can focus on living your life.
- Undervaluing Assets
One of the major points of discussion in a divorce is the division of financial assets. Typically, the goal is to divide them equally among both parties. However, it’s not always that simple. Some assets, such as a 401k account, are easy to determine the value. Others, like houses or businesses, have a lot of variability. Undervaluing these assets can prove quite costly in the long run.
Your financial security (post-divorce) is highly dependent on a fair split of assets. Make sure your spouse isn’t attempting to hide any assets or downplaying value to gain an advantage. Work with your legal counsel to put everything on the table.
- Letting Emotions Lead the Way
When emotions run high during a divorce, it’s easy to fall into the trap of impulsive decision-making. These snap judgments are often driven by immediate emotional reactions rather than careful consideration of the consequences.
Impulsive decisions can be costly. They’re usually driven by emotion and tend to prioritize short-term emotional relief over long-term stability and well-being. For example, agreeing to unfavorable financial terms just to expedite the divorce process may lead to financial hardship down the road. The consequences can linger for years to come.
Instead, be certain that you’re making objective, clear-headed decisions with the approval of your attorneys. Lean on them and listen to their advice. They don’t have an emotional stake in the situation like you do. Their advice should simply guide you.
- Neglecting the Impact on Children
If children are involved in a divorce, their long-term well-being should always take center stage. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will eventually heal and move on. You may even find new spouses. Your children, on the other hand, will never have another set of parents. The divorce impacts them more than anyone else. Neglecting their emotional needs during this challenging time can exacerbate their distress and lead to lasting psychological effects.
If possible, you and your spouse need to put aside your differences and become effective co-parents who work together for the good of the children. Don’t use your kids as pawns – they’ll grow up to resent you. Instead, shield them from the messy parts and spend time assuring them they are loved and cared for.
Putting it All Together
Marriages are meant to last forever. Anytime a marriage ends in divorce, there’s some sense of sadness and emptiness. But there’s also a period of healing and recovery on the backend. The key is to avoid making costly mistakes in a divorce that lead to further complications and unnecessary pain in the months and years that follow. Hopefully, this article has given you some clear ideas of which mistakes you need to avoid in order to move on with your life faster.