Going through a divorce is an extremely challenging time for all parties involved. Whether you are witnessing your parents’ divorce, or you are one of the spouses going through the proceedings, navigating the process can be a challenge. For those involved, qualified divorce attorneys can help advise you on some of the most common mistakes made while also helping you have success in your proceedings.
How Do Divorce Proceedings Work?
The specifics of divorce proceedings will vary on a state-by-state basis, but most cases start with a summons and petition. Essentially, one spouse files a petition and asks for a divorce from the other spouse, who becomes the respondent. From there, the party who filed for divorce is typically required to divulge their financial information with their spouse, and the other spouse must do the same.
Decisions will be made on how to split property, finances, children, and any other item that was previously shared between the two parties. This step can either occur directly between the spouses, or in an official court setting. If between spouses, it’s recommended to bring a full-service family law firm attorney to oversee the negotiations in the event of complications.
Finally, the divorce will be finalized, and the paperwork will be submitted, followed by the annulment of your marriage.
5 Mistakes Often Made During Proceedings
As of the most recent data polled, there were 630,505 divorces in a single year, going to show just how common this unfortunate situation is. Should you find yourself in the position where a divorce is occurring, there are a number of key mistakes to avoid that can make the overall process more successful:
- Using the proceedings as a chance to get back at your spouse: Oftentimes, spouses who were in a bad marriage try to use the divorce proceedings as a chance to get back at their partner. Some partners may try to drag their former spouses name through the mud in an effort to win more from the case or to win custody. In most cases, this just complicates the issue and makes for a longer divorce proceeding.
- Alienating your children from your spouse: If you are going through a divorce and alienate your child from your spouse, there could be drastic long-term effects on their development. Additionally, if it’s unclear who will have custody of the child, alienating them only to have them be ordered to the other spouse will be a confusing experience for the child.
- Being dishonest in the courtroom: Do remember that when settling matters of who receives what in a divorce, it is your responsibility to accurately describe everything you own. Many people tend to lie and understate what they have, but the courts can simply prove you wrong if they desire which will make you look bad. Always follow the oath you make in court and be as honest as you can.
- Taking on new debt right away: Divorce can be expensive, there’s no doubt about that. In fact, the median cost of divorce is around $7,000, while the average hovers between $15,000-$20,000. Naturally, this is an expense that you might not be able to pay out of pocket right away, or you may not want to. However, it’s best not to take out a large amount of debt while divorce proceedings are actively occurring and while the court is attempting to figure out what your assets look like.
- Violating temporary court orders: In some cases, temporary court orders may be in place while divorce proceedings are underway. These temporary orders may limit you from seeing your child or they may stipulate that you provide your spouse and child with a certain amount of money while the proceedings occur. Violating a temporary court order can have serious consequences on the resolution of your divorce. Even if you disagree with the ruling on the temporary court order, you still need to follow the rules to a tee.
Common Mistakes To Avoid In Divorce Proceedings
Navigate your divorce with the help of an attorney
Even if your divorce is amicable and you intend to stay good friends with your former spouse, it’s still best to have legal representation for divorce proceedings. There can be a lot of sticky terms when it comes to divorce that a lawyer can help you understand and make an educated decision on. Reach out to a board-certified divorce attorney near you for assistance in the process.