Going through a divorce is tough. During the initial process, as well as throughout the divorce process. Avoiding key mistakes can make your divorce go much smoother and make the transition to your post-divorce easier. Here are 7 mistakes to avoid during your divorce:
1. Not Listening to Advice of Trusted People
If you hire an attorney, pay attention to their advice. Your attorney has likely been through hundreds, or possibly thousands of divorce cases before and knows the best strategies to ensure the case turns out in your favor. The attorney’s advice should be taken seriously, and you should avoid trying to do everything yourself.
2. Not Participating in Your Case
It is easy to assume that the judge or your attorney is going to just take care of everything. However, you have to be a participant in the case. The more intimately involved in all the decisions you are, the more likely the result will be something you find acceptable.
3. Ignoring Your Mental Health
Taking care of your mental health is crucial during the divorce. Most people think they can just get through the whole process on their own, however, a divorce is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Whether it’s seeing a mental health professional or joining a support group or relying on friends, you must make sure you keep up your mental health. Exercising, staying busy and connects with friends will also help.
4. Not Shielding Kids from Divorce
It is important to shield your kids from the divorce. If your mental health is going downhill, it is going to show up in your parenting. It is going to show up everywhere. When you notice that there’s tension during the divorce, such as when you go to the pickup and drop off spots to exchange the kids, you have to keep in mind that all of this impacts the kids. Shielding them from the divorce as much as possible will aid in having a successful divorce.
5. Carelessly Taking Unilateral Action
When you take unilateral action and just do whatever you want to do, whether it is moving money, moving residences, changing a child’s school, or recklessly spending marital funds, these are all actions that will aggravate your divorce case. Unilateral actions will usually backfire on the person and create larger problems during their divorce beyond the unilateral action taken.
6. Stopping Communication with Spouse
When two spouses are not communicating, it will almost certainly lead to a longer and more expensive divorce. You do not have to be the best of friends, but if you have children you will need to communicate often, and the communication will need to be civil. If you do not have children, being able to communicate with your spouse will allow you to at least resolve smaller issues, like personal property without having to engage the attorneys. The reverse of this is communicating too much with your spouse and trying to resolve all your issues with them at “the kitchen table.” This often doesn’t work and create more conflict. Settlement of major issues should be done with the assistance of counsel.
7. Not Considering Alternatives Other Than Court
Many people just immediately write off something like mediation because they think they’re never going to get an agreement with their spouse. They often believe having someone else to decide it will make the process go quicker. This a misconception. Mediation and collaborative divorce cases do get resolved amicably and expeditiously especially if you go through these processes with attorneys who know what they’re doing and are willing to work with a team. Trying to get a judge to to decide your case will take a least a year and often times much longer.
If you need help with any issues concerning divorce or family law, contact us at The Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C. Patrick Markey is a Chicago divorce attorney, and our practice is dedicated solely to the practice of family law.