Avoid these Divorce Mistakes
1. High Expectations and Demands
It is important to know what you want following your separation and divorce, however having your expectations ranked too high can create some problems. You want your expectations to be rational, taking everything around you into consideration. This includes thinking about what your spouse might want as well. Spend the time thinking about what your needs are and what a realistic outcome might be. If working through a budget helps you put things into perspective, we highly recommend doing that in order to better understand your personal situation. Be willing to compromise. Mediation is about working together with your mediator to come to resolutions that work best for the two of you and your children. However it is up to you to keep your demands and expectations practical and realistic.
2. Failing to Think Strategically
Thinking strategically means deciding what is worth fighting for and what is not worth fighting for. It may be too expensive to fight about everything with your former spouse. You also have to decide how much you are willing to pay to fight for your assets. It does not make sense to spend $5,000 in legal fees to get $1,000 more in your divorce settlement.
3. Making Emotional Rather than Logical Decisions.
“No decision made by emotion is a good one”. This is especially true when going through a divorce. There are many feelings, emotions, sensations and resentments that may have even been buried for many years. However it is important to work through these with a professional and keep the feelings separate in order to be able to make logical decisions throughout the divorce process.
4. Getting Divorce Advice from Family and Friends
No doubt you will hear a lot of urban legends about divorce law. Many of them are not correct. While your family may have good intentions and want to help you that does not change the fact that many things they tell you may not be accurate. Just because your friend got the house in his or her divorce does not mean that you will too. The most reliable source of divorce information is your lawyer.
5. Refusing to Communicate
It is not easy to set aside your feelings. The best way to work through your divorce is to communicate to one another about what your interests are and what may be important to you. In other words, work together with your spouse and perhaps your mediator to come to resolutions you both feel comfortable about. You will be able to save yourselves more time and money by working through issues on your own.
6. Overlooking the Mediation Option
Family mediation is a voluntary, consensual process in which a neutral person facilitates discussions between separating couples. The mediator assists clients to negotiate a separation agreement including child support and/or spousal support, division of property and/or a parenting plan for any children. Mediation is a cost effective alternative to litigation and a way of resolving differences rather than relying on a judge to make the decisions that will ultimately have a profound effect on the family.
7. Not obtaining legal advice
The biggest mistake people make in their divorce is trying to handle the case without a lawyer. Even if they have worked out an agreement with a mediator, a lawyer is needed to insure that your rights and obligations have been addressed. A divorce encompasses every aspect of your life; custody of your children, title to your home, payment of your debts and division of all of your assets. It pays to have the documents reviewed by an experienced family lawyer whom can create a legally binding separation agreement that will be upheld in court if needed in the future.
8. Dividing your property without creating an inventory.
It’s important to know what you have before you can evenly divide it. Your inventory should include details items such as: Real estate, Motor vehicles, Savings and Chequing Accounts, Retirement Accounts, Life Insurance Policies, Ownership in Businesses, Debts (including mortgages, credit cards, Lines of Credit and other debt) If you do not have proper financial knowledge, it is impossible to create a fair and comparable settlement.
9. Sharing your perspective with the kids so they understand.
No matter what age they are, your children will rarely, if ever, understand why you are getting a divorce. Most certainly they do not need to get involved with the divorce. However, it never fails; parents always feel the need to justify their position to the children as if they were the jury that decides the case. Young children do not understand divorce and have a tendency to blame themselves when their parents split up. As children get older, they tend to see divorce as grown up business and just do not want to get involved. Children of any age should NEVER have to pick between their parents.
10. Entering into New Relationships.
Entering into a new relationship may be fun and exciting however the consequences can be devastating to the separation process. Entering into a new relationship can offend and upset your spouse, and therefore can make your discussions significantly more difficult. If you can postpone a new relationship, you may be able to save yourself a lot of stress, time and money.