Actions to Avoid When You Are Getting a Divorce

on Jun 8, 2017 in Divorce

Deciding to get a divorce can be extremely difficult.  After you make that decision, the emotional difficulty does not end.  Many decisions need to be made, which frequently induces more stress.  Making things worse, much of the process is out of your control.  Of the things that are under your control, your choices impact your experience, during the divorce and beyond.

Do Not Give In To Your Emotions

Anger, sadness, fear, and worry are just some of the emotions you may feel while going through a divorce.  These emotions are normal.  However, you must not let these emotions control you and you must not make decisions based on those emotions.  Controlling your emotions will make the process go more smoothly.  It will also ensure you obtain the best result possible.  It is helpful if you avoid direct contact with your spouse about issues surrounding the divorce itself.

If contact is necessary, such as cases involving children, do not discuss your divorce.  You have hired an attorney to represent you in your legal proceeding.  Let her do her job.  Do not respond to any contact from your spouse immediately.  Take some time to collect your emotions and narrow the purpose of your call.  Depending on the issue, your attorney may discourage you from responding at all.

Do Not Discuss Your Divorce With Your Children

If you have children, do not discuss the details of your divorce with them.  A divorce may have a significant impact on your children.  Because they are children, there is no need to include them in the details of the process.  Even adult children do not need to know the nitty gritty details of the divorce.

It is a good idea to discuss the fact of the divorce itself with your children.  This may include matters that directly affect them, such as parenting time and where they will live.  Make sure they know that your decision to divorce is not their fault.  Do not expect them to take sides.

Instead, continue to encourage them to have a positive relationship with their other parent.  Do not say negative things about your soon to be ex-spouse.  That person will continue to be their parent after the divorce.  Also, remember that you will have an ongoing relationship with your spouse involving your children.  This will be true even after the children are adults.  Graduations, marriages, and grandchildren are just a few things the parties will continue to have in common.

Do Not Assume a Compassionate Attorney Is Ineffective

Your attorney should listen and be respectful of both you and the other party.  Your attorney should listen to what you want and discuss the pros and cons of pursuing those desires in the divorce.  If your attorney listens to the other side as well, he or she can help you get what you need and reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.  It can be tempting to hire an attorney that is aggressive all of the time, but this is not generally helpful.  An overly aggressive attorney may miss an opportunity to reach an agreement that best meets your wants and needs.

Keep Your Private Life Private

Divorces can quickly become messy if the parties do not exercise discretion.  Remember social media is not private.  Do not post comments about your spouse, their attorney, the judge, or your case on social media.  It is probably wise to avoid social media all together when you are going through a divorce.  You likely have friends in common on social media.  Any of your actions posted on social media can get back to your spouse.  Your spouse’s attorney may also watch your social media accounts.  At the very least, things posted by either side on social media can cause hurt feelings.  This can make it more difficult to reach a settlement in your case.

Do Not Withhold Information From Your Attorney

Your attorney needs to know everything about your case.  This includes things are embarrassing or facts you think might hurt your case.  If a fact is damaging, your attorney needs to know about it so he or she can deal with it.  As an attorney, there is nothing worse than first learning of a harmful fact during testimony at trial.

Do Not Incur Excessive Debt

Divorce is very expensive and you will incur numerous reasonable debts.  This can include attorney’s fees and costs associated with establishing a new household.  However, this is not the time to engage in retail therapy.  It is also not the time to go on an expensive vacation with your new boyfriend or girlfriend.  Debt will be divided between the parties when the divorce is finalized.  Incurring unnecessary debt during the divorce proceeding can make it more difficult to reach an agreement resolving your divorce outside of court.  It can also create another issue for litigation in a trial.  It is better to wait until the divorce is finalized when you know what your share of the property will be.  Then you may spend your money and incur whatever debt you want.

Do Not Be Passive

Take an active role with your attorney in your divorce.  Let your attorney do his or her job, but they need information from you so they can best represent you.  Your attorney must know what is important to you, what you need, what you want and what you would just like to have.  During a negotiation, you will likely need to give some things up.  Your attorney needs to know you’re your priorities so he or she can achieve the best result for you.  You must be reasonable, but do not let yourself be taken advantage of.

Contact Experienced Family Law Attorneys

At Fait & DiLima, we focus exclusively on family law issues.  We know how challenging the prospect of divorce can be.  Contact us for a consultation.  We have offices in Fredrick and Rockville for your convenience.


Additional Reading

Conscious Uncoupling: Making a Deliberate Decision about the Tone of Your Divorce