If you’re thinking about or going through a divorce, it’s a tough time. It’s fraught with emotions that you may never have felt before. Even if you are the one initiating the divorce, it’s still tricky. Due to the highly emotional element of divorce, it’s easy to make mistakes without even thinking about the ramifications of doing so. To ensure a smooth process, these are the things you want to avoid doing during a divorce.
Talking Bad about Your Ex
Not to your kids, not to your parents, not to your friends – don’t talk bad about your ex to anyone if you have kids. The kids take these things to heart. Even if it’s all true, they don’t need to hear those things about their parents with very few exceptions. They are part of their parents, and it hurts them.
Allowing Your Emotions to Dictate Your Actions
It’s hard to think straight when you’re feeling a lot of emotions. Emotions can steer you way off course if you let them. However, the way to determine your next act is to let go of the emotion and look at the facts.
Not Thinking about How Everything Affects the Kids
Whether your children are babies or adults with babies, divorce is going to impact them in some way. Instead of hiding it from them, make sure you talk to your kids as soon as you know what is happening and how it’s going to play out.
Hiding Financial Information
Don’t lie about money when you’re divorcing to make your situation look either better or worse for the courts. If you’re going to end up in court, they will figure it out and you’ll end up looking bad. Don’t listen to the fear mongers about the cost of child support and that type of thing. Listen to your attorney.
Focusing on the Past
Now that you’re getting a divorce, it really doesn’t matter why – with few exceptions. The exception might have to do with abuse or any type of danger. Other than that, judges don’t care about affairs and who left the toilet seat up. Leave that in the past. You’re divorcing now and don’t have to deal with them that way ever again.
Refusing to Compromise
Don’t go into a negotiation unwilling to find a middle ground. When it comes to individual decisions, it’s mostly already decided for you based on tables and charts and basic formulas the court system has already developed. Anything outside that, you’d do better just to let it go and try to meet in the middle.
Not Getting Your Own Attorney
Don’t try to go through a divorce without an attorney unless you are going to also be friends after the divorce. If there are any bones of contention, you’re better off getting an attorney to help you with it to ensure you get a settlement that is fair for you and your kids. Even if you have no money of your own, go to an attorney anyway; the first visit is usually free.
Listening to Family and Friends
When it comes to choices you are making regarding the settlement in your divorce, the last people you should listen to are your friends and family. They have no idea what your relationship is really like, and they also don’t know the law. The law is unambiguous on specific aspects of divorce, and you’re not going to change that. For example, don’t ever keep the kids from their other parent for any reason without significant support from a lawyer, a social worker, and a judge.
Using the Children as Weapons
The saddest thing that happens during divorce is when parents use the children as weapons against each other. Even though things went down in your marriage, the most important thing is to put your kids first. That is their parent, and barring real danger, a negative word should never leave your mouth about their parent.
No one is perfect. If you have read this list and realize you’re already doing some of these things, it’s okay. Forgive yourself and understand that you’re just human. Now find a way to stop doing it and fix the issue. That way you won’t have any regrets. After all, getting a divorce should be a way to end pain and trauma. It can be if you go into it with the right frame of mind. A good attorney can really help you with the process.