If you and your spouse have agreed on a divorce, certain decisions will hinder your progress. Here are common divorce mistakes and how to avoid them.
Once, divorce was seen as something to be ashamed of, but it’s all the more common now. In fact, 40 to 50% of married couples in the USA end up divorced.
It may seem like a bleak statistic, but it’s important to acknowledge when you’re unhappy in a situation and leave it. Many people end up forcing themselves to say together when neither are happy, for the sake of property or children.
It’s actually much better for everyone involved to get a clean divorce that’s as healthy as possible. If you can remain level-headed and mature through the process, you, your spouse, and any children involved will leave the situation happier.
If you’re pursuing this route, it’s important to avoid these common divorce mistakes.
Badmouthing Your Spouse Around Your Children
Your spouse may have treated you terribly during your marriage or through the divorce, but it’s important not to badmouth them to your children.
This can have a negative effect on your relationship with your children, and your words can be used against you in court later.
By helping your kids avoid the negative aspects of the divorce, including any bad blood between you and your spouse, you’ll help them understand that everyone will be happier in the end.
Using Children as Middlemen
Although it’s important not to badmouth your spouse to your kids, it’s also essential that you don’t use them as middlemen.
Don’t ask them to pass on cold messages or deliver money or objects. If you truly can’t face passing on a message yourself, ask a friend or relative to.
Asking your children to do this can make them feel stuck and helpless. They should be kept out of the divorce as much as possible, and shouldn’t feel as if it’s their job to help things proceed smoothly.
Not Complying With Court Orders
Court orders can often seem unfair. Whether you don’t agree with the way the court has decided to handle personal property or the custody arrangements imposed, it’s important to take the legal route of appealing.
Don’t ignore the court orders. If you do this, you can face penalties later and it can be used against you when other arrangements are being made. Although it can be tempting to go against something you don’t agree with, this will only affect you negatively when it’s legally binding.
The time in court can often be frustrating, so make sure you have a lawyer you trust who will fight for you if things aren’t going your way.
Not Planning Ahead Financially
When exploring how to get a divorce and during the beginning of the proceedings, many don’t plan ahead financially. It’s important to try and mediate how things will be split, or allow the court to do so if you can’t come to an agreement.
Be aware of what you both own, and of anything that your spouse may attempt to liquidate before the divorce is finalized.
It’s also important to accept how much you can take on. Getting the house may seem like a big win, but the property taxes and all the financial obligations that come with it may actually be too much for one person.
Consider your abilities and the amount of responsibility you’re willing to take with a healthy dose of realism.
Letting Emotions Overtake Logic
Divorce is one of the hardest things many of us will go through. Agreeing with your spouse can seem impossible during this time, so emotions can overtake logic completely and arguments become more than they needed to be.
When it feels like this is happening, try to take a step back.
You might find yourself fighting for belongings you don’t really care about, or arrangements that aren’t best for you in the long run out of spite.
It’s essential that you know when to walk away and breathe because you can return to the discussion when you’ve thought about everything rationally.
Forgetting to Update Your Will
If you’ve already written a will, it might be long-forgotten during divorce proceedings. After all, you have more important things to worry about!
Even if you’ve divorced your partner, any mention of them in your will isn’t automatically voided. If your divorce means making changes to what’s left to them if you pass away, you need to get the document changed as soon as possible.
If they’re mentioned, even if you’re divorced, what you’ve written in the will should still stand in the event of your passing.
Trying to Cope on Your Own
Don’t try and deal with this on your own.
Hire a divorce lawyer to make sure you get the best deal for you. Research lawyers carefully and pick one you trust, with a good track record.
These people are the experts and can get you the best result possible when it comes to finances, property, and personal belongings.
It’s also important to recognize that you may need emotional help. If you’re struggling with the overwhelming feelings of leaving your spouse, seek out a good therapist.
Being able to express your emotions in confidentiality, without judgment, also means that you’ll be less likely to snap at your ex-spouse or say negative things about them around your children.
It’s okay to need help during a divorce, and you should seek out whatever you need.
Anyone Can Make Common Divorce Mistakes, but Try to Minimize Yours
Of all the common divorce mistakes, it’s likely that you may make a few. This is, after all, an emotional time, and no one is judging you for finding it difficult.
The best results, however, will come from remaining as level-headed as possible and trying to do best by everyone involved — including, and most importantly, yourself.
For more relationship and marital advice, check out the rest of our blog.