Divorces unfortunately happen each and every single day of the year. Divorce advice is often very hard to come by, and more often than not, can be flat out just wrong. Having gone through a bitter divorce myself, I’ve put together some practical divorce advice that everyone can benefit from.
Advice #1: Taking any kind of action without thinking through the legal consequences.
Divorces are bitter, emotional experiences that can leave all parties scarred. With so much emotion going on, its easy to make mistakes, and action taken with a lot of emotion, may often times be simply wrong. Start by getting sound advice (normally not a lawyer) on your tactics.
Mistake #2: Moving out of your home.
Be very careful if and when you decide to move out of your home. The decision to move out can cost you the custody of your children, but may set in motion a whole range of negative effects. When you move out of your home it can have very serious legal consequences. You should absolutely not move out until you fully understand the consequences of doing so. The consequences can often times be explained by a lawyer, or trusted advisor. Please take the time to consider all the facts of your case. Moving out may mean you can never move back in, and courts often times view it as s negative when considering your children.
Mistake #3: Failing to realize how important the status quo is
A very important concept in family law, and in divorce is the concept of status quo. Generally put, family and marriage courts hate changing the way things are going, unless it is abundantly clear that there is a huge problem. As an example, if you make any kind of cash payments to your spouse without an actual court order, it will become very difficult to convince a court that you cannot afford to continue making the payments in the future. Keep this in mind before doing anything minus a court order. What you do today is going to have a major impact on what goes on down the road.
Mistake #4: Making any kind of decisons while angry, depressed, hungry or tired.
A divorce is going to be a very emotional and difficult time for many parties (especially if you have children). It is very important to be careful about the state of mind you are in when making important decisions. Bad decisions happen when people are angry or depressed, and in divorce, it can be decisions that will affect the rest of your life. Try as best you can to make the decisions about your divorce when you feel that you are in a strong position.
Mistake #5: Getting divorce advice from family and friends.
When you go through divorce, people will come out of the woodwork with their own stories, or advice on how you should handle yours. Most of the divorce advice you are going to hear from friends will probably be wrong. There is no doubt that family and friends have good intentions, but divorce is a different animal all together, and its generally a subject no one person is that competent about. There is so much professional divorce advice out there. My book Divorced Dads Survival Guide talks men through specific tactics, and there are equally good books for women available.
Mistake #6: Using your divorce as a way to cause pain to your spouse
This is similar to the point above about acting out of anger. Trying to cause pain to your spouse is a natural way to deal with this anger, and the loss of a marriage. By all accounts, this is a horrible idea, and should obviously be avoided.
Mistake #7: Failing to think about the long term consequences
Thinking about the long term means that you plan first before taking any action. Divorce can be a bitter fight, no doubt, and fighting without thinking about the long term can only hurt you in the end. Determining what is really important to you is the first critical step. It is so easy to fight about everything, and it even feels good. What is ends up doing is costing you more money and simply drags out what is already a painful process. It makes no sense to spend $10,000 in legal fees to get $1,000 more in your divorce settlement.
Mistake #8: Being generous to win back your spouse.
Sometimes when couples are divorcing, it may seem easier just to get back together, to avoid the pain you are currently experiencing. While this does sometimes happen, and things work out, it can also be a major mistake, and one that may keep you in pain much longer. Think about the reasons that caused you to divorce in the first place and honestly ask yourself whether you think things will change
Mistake #9: Failing to document everything
In a highly contested case, keeping detailed written records can be the difference between winning and losing. A journal (I used an online journal) that contains all the daily events surrounding matters like time spent with children will most likely be used in your defense when facing the judge.
Mistake #10: Overlooking the mediation.
Divorce mediation is the process by which you and your spouse, along with a mediator, try to resolve the issues you face in the hopes of reaching a settlement without the time and cost of a lawyer. The settlement can then be issued to the judge for signature. The mediator is a neutral third party who sits in the middle and coordinates a brokered settlement. In almost all cases, mediation may be the quickest and cheapest way of reaching an agreement with your spouse, but it also assumes your spouse agrees to this option.
For more great advice on Divorce, go to www.DivorcedDadsSurvivalGuide.com