Emotions run high during a divorce and sometimes for many years after a final dissolution judgment has been entered. Often divorcing couples compound their problems by allowing emotions to cloud their judgment and influence their actions. It is understandable, child custody issues, child support and spousal support payments often foster resentment not to mention the dividing up your home, furniture, retirement and even your pets can create a lot of animosity between a man and wife or same-sex couple. When faced with the further prospect of long-term legal problems, child visitation issues or dealing with recurring, self-serving false allegations being made by your former spouse, a divorced person will often dig in and become entrenched in a legal battle that nobody wins.
Avoiding these 10 mistakes may help you avoid a long, contentious divorce and ease tension between you and your ex before it costs you thousands in legal fee.
1. Losing Your Temper
OK, everyone gets it, your ex is evil and they are making you crazy. They make false and misleading statements to influence the court, they tell your kids awful things about you in an attempt to turn them against you, they destroyed your baseball card collection or keyed your classic Thunderbird that you just had completely restored, posted naked pictures of you on the internet or hid rotten fish all over your house, in your briefcase and even in your desk at work. The fish isn’t the only thing that stinks. A breakup of a marriage sucks and it is really easy to lose control of your emotions and act out of anger but that is always a mistake. Losing your temper and saying or doing something to your ex when you are mad will only lead to more problems. It is best to leave the communication with your ex to your attorney. They have dealt with every situation imaginable so don’t be embarrassed to tell your lawyer about any difficult situation with former spouse. The family law specialists at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman know how to deal with even the most difficult situation. Our experienced family law attorneys will fight for your rights and defend you against your evil, fish toting former spouse so you don’t have to. Remember acting on anger will only hurt you so, before you say something you will regret or do something like damage property or physically lash out, put down the fish and pick up the phone. Our divorce lawyers are tough enough to handle any crazy ex-spouse. Remember the five “C’s”:
- Calm – No matter how much your ex may try to push your buttons, stay calm.
- Cordial – Avoid escalating the situation by remaining cordial in the face of craziness.
- Communication – Limit your communication with your ex to only what is necessary.
- Constitutionalize – It means to “take a walk for your health” and there is no better advice than to walk away before you say or do something regrettable.
- Counsel – Seek counsel, go tell your attorney about the situation.
In most cases, the spouse that can approach his or her divorce in a calm, methodical manner will come out ahead. Eventually, reason will prevail and your cool head will minimize your attorney fees and bring your divorce to a faster conclusion.
2. Not Knowing What Assets You and Your Spouse Have
One of the most common mistakes that divorcing people make is not taking an inventory of the community assets (and debts in some cases). When you first meet with one of the trusted attorneys at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman, they will ask you about what property or other assets you and your spouse may own. Some people will say that they don’t have any assets but that is rarely true. The longer the marriage, the more likely it is that valuable community property assets exist but, even in a short marriage, a couple may buy a house or car, make investments from community income, contribute to a 401k or pension or buy a life insurance policy with a cash value. The earlier in a divorce that a reputable attorney, like you will find at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman, learns of your community assets, the sooner your lawyer can take action to protect your rights. You may not know that you are entitled to one half of the community property share of your husband’s pension or that you may have an interest in a house that was purchased by your wife prior to your marriage but paid for primarily from your income during the marriage. Our family law specialists will protect your rights and your property but, your attorney needs your help in identifying everything of value that you may have an interest in.
3. Thinking that a prenuptial agreement will protect you
When one or both spouses have significant premarital assets or income it is common to ask your family law specialist to draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. However, you are making a mistake if you rely solely on that agreement to protect you in contentious divorce. There are dozens of reasons why such an agreement may be invalid or illegal at the time of the divorce even if it was perfectly valid when it was drafted. One of our knowledgeable divorce lawyers can identify potential problems and prepare to take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
4. Not taking the time to heal or not letting go
It is a big mistake if you don’t take the time to recover emotionally after you split up but what may be even a bigger mistake not letting go. After a breakup and even before the divorce is final, spouses need to take some time to heal and mourn the loss of the relationship. No matter what anyone may say, a divorce is traumatic but when the relationship is over, then it is over. Stay away from your ex, don’t call them, don’t email them and definitely don’t drop by unannounced late at night. Take some time to breath and it is a good idea to see a therapist if you have unresolved feelings that you just can’t get past. The family law specialists at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman are caring and compassionate. Our attorneys understands your situation and they can often point you in the right direction to get help. Our divorce lawyers will also serve as a buffer between you and your former spouse to support and protect your rights while you are going through this difficult time.
5. Using social media as an outlet
Social media is everywhere these days and individuals going through a divorce will often turn to social media to express their feelings about their divorce or to show off all of the fun they are having being single again. The best advice here is DON’T. If you need to seek sympathy ear, do it offline. If you need to vent some anger or frustration, tell your friend or therapist. If you feel like verbally attacking your ex, write a letter to them and then burn it. None of these things are productive and if you do them you run the risk of alienating your friends, aggravating your spouse and making problems worse. There is nothing to be gained by making hurtful comments on social media. Take a break from it all, put your account on hold and reconnect with your friends face-to-face. Whatever you do, don’t post photo’s of yourself in drunk or in compromising positions on social media or make salacious remarks about your ex. Keep in mind that anything you post on social media can be used against you in your divorce. If your spouse launches an attack on you on social media, do not respond but do call you family law attorney at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman.
6. Allowing misunderstandings to interfere with child visitation
There are many circumstances where you must communicate with your spouse especially when children are involved. Child custody and temporary visitation schedules often lead to misunderstandings. You can avoid most misunderstandings by reviewing your child visitation schedule with one of the highly regarded family law lawyers from the Law Offices of Marc Grossman. Your experienced attorney will take the time to explain the exact time for you to exchange the kids with your spouse. If is not uncommon for the court to order the child visitation (custodial period) exchange to take place at a neutral location or for one party or the other to provide transportation to and from child visitation. In most cases a special holiday child visitation schedule will be a good idea. All of the forms, orders and other court documents can be confusing. Many attorneys don’t give their clients the personal attention that clients of the Law Offices of Marc Grossman receive. While our lawyers take the time to make sure that you understand all of the orders and related laws, your spouse’s attorney probably didn’t do the same. Unfortunately, misunderstandings over child custody and visitation usually result in unnecessary court hearings so that the family law judge can settle the dispute. Rather than argue with your spouse, follow the 5 “C’s”, walk away and call your family law specialist at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman. In most cases if you do so, your lawyer will be able to resolve the misunderstand with your ex, avoid unnecessary court hearings and save you money in attorney’s fees. You should always keep in mind that your children are at the center of these misunderstandings and they are the most affected. Using the assistance of a competent family law attorney to avoid misunderstandings and custody disputes will shield your children from the dispute and minimize the long term emotional impact on them.
7. You cannot be replaced
A common mistake divorcing couples is to take on a defensive posture with their ex-spouse’s new husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or partner. Your animosity toward your ex’s new significant other is not productive. It may be natural for you to want to yell profanity at them or punch them in the face every time that you see them but, doing so has consequences that are contrary to your best interest. Accepting that the relationship is over and letting go means accepting that your ex will move on. As long as your ex’s new partner isn’t hostile toward you or harming your children then you should apply the 5 “C’s” to them as well. If your ex’s new spouse is acting aggressive or hostile toward you or you suspect that they are doing something inappropriate with your children, let the expert divorce and child custody attorneys of the Law Offices of Marc Grossman take immediate action to resolve the conflict and protect your rights and your children from harm. Remember, you will always be “mom” or “dad” and that isn’t going to change, you cannot be replaced.
8. Kids come first
Those little bundles of joy, no matter how big or small, are most divorced parent’s primary concern, as it should be. A mistake that is easy to make is letting yourself become so mired in emotions that you forget about what the kids are going through. No matter how much you shelter them or try to shield them from the situation, their is no way to hide the changes the occur. “Daddy moved out.” “Mommy has a new boyfriend.” “Mommy is always mad at daddy.” There is simply too much going on to sweep it under the rug and pretend that its not happening. Spend some time talking to your kids about what is going on. Reassure them that mommy and daddy still loves them. Develop a new routine so that they maintain some sense of stability. The biggest, most harmful mistake divorced people make with their kids is using them as a weapon to inflict hurt on your ex. When emotions are high, it is hard not to make this mistake but if you find yourself telling your child negative things about your ex, preventing the child from going with the other parent during scheduled visitation times or using the kids as your personal messenger service between yourself and your ex, you must summon the strength to do what is right for your kids and stop. Often, clients come to us with heartbreaking accounts of how his or her ex turned their children against them and spoiled the once close relationship. Our caring attorneys child custody attorneys are also loving parents and we take this kind of child abuse seriously. If your spouse is using the kids as a weapon against you, we know how to put a stop to it. The child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman fight for the children of their clients. Each of our child custody attorneys fight passionately for the kids because we know the sooner their parents can resolve their differences, the sooner the family can begin to heal and the faster the dissolution action with children can be concluded.
9. Trying to avoid child support or alimony
The reality is that what was once one household is now two. The once combined income that made it easy to make ends meet is now two separate incomes with double the bills. This is why so many bankruptcies occur after a divorce, people just can’t make ends meet. This financial crisis is often a shocking revelation to a divorced couple and usually this revelation occurs while emotions are at their peak and both parties are struggling to reestablish themselves. The party who earns the least, may also be the one who has the kids most of time. Naturally, there is a growing resentment between the couple and it is typically at this stage when one of the parties asks the court for a order establishing child support and spousal support (also called alimony). No divorced person is happy to be hit with child support and alimony and usually the amount ordered is much more than they think it should be. Once hit with the “A” bomb, the person ordered to pay alimony or child support may resist paying. They “forget” to mail the check or they suddenly get laid off (but secretly work under the table) all in an effort to avoid paying support. The legislature has established almost draconian laws to force divorced people to keep their court ordered obligation. Those who don’t pay will have their credit ruined and can be found in contempt of court and made to serve jail time. They will lose their driver’s license and professional license, tax returns and most of their paychecks. However, enforcing a child support order or alimony is not an automatic process, especially when it is alimony. If your ex isn’t paying what they were ordered to pay or not at all, the tough, aggressive family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman are experts in child support and spousal support collection. Our lawyers know how to discover the hidden income sources of your ex and they are relentless is fighting to insure your ex pays what they owe.
10. Not hiring an experienced family law attorney
If you are not an electrician, it wouldn’t be wise to rewire your own house even if you were legally entitled to do so. If you are not a dentist, it wouldn’t be wise to fill your own cavities even if you were legally entitled to do so. The foreseeable result of rewiring your own house when you have no experience as an electrician is that your house will burn down and drilling into your own teeth when you are not a dentist will cause you a great deal of pain. Why is it then that many electricians, dentists, auto mechanics, housewives and mail carriers think that it is good idea to represent themselves in court? The law does give you the right to represent yourself but that doesn’t mean that it is wise especially in a divorce case. There is so much riding on the outcome of a divorce; your house, kids, retirement, saving even your dog are on the line. Some people think that it is too expensive to hire an attorney but, if it meant that you could lose it all, wouldn’t it be worth hiring an attorney? Well in some cases it does. If your ex has an attorney then it is even more important to have a reputable attorney on your side. Don’t let money be the reason you do not have proper legal representation. The Law Offices of Marc Grossman has many options that make hiring a top attorney possible for almost anyone. Our helpful divorce and child custody attorneys care and really want to help you through this time. Call us at 855-LOMG-911 or complete the contact form to request a free consultation.