Divorces are rarely fun, but often necessary. In some divorces, the emotions are running high and the process can take as long as a year or more depending on the complexities involved in each case. There are a few mistakes that clients tend to make while their divorces are pending. If your divorce is pending, here is what not to do:
Do not attempt to get your children to choose you or speak ill of the other parent.
Many parents either attempt to do this subtly or do it without really realizing they are doing it. You must be careful of how you speak about your spouse to your children. Your kids do not understand the complexities of a marriage or a divorce, and they shouldn’t have to. Some parents attempt this because they think it will give them an advantage in a custody hearing. It won’t. Children are transparent and sometimes brutally honest. If you coach your kids — even subtly or unconsciously — everyone will know and that will hurt you in a custody proceeding.
Do not post on social media.
Or if you do post, at least do not reference your spouse, the divorce, custody of your kids, or anything that could be even remotely suggested to relate to those things. Even the most vague Facebook posts can be twisted to appear as if you were “airing dirty laundry” or attempting to gain an advantage or sympathy. All of this will be frowned upon in any court proceeding, and just because you have “blocked” your spouse from your facebook page does not mean he or she won’t be able to get access to your posts. Facebook’s privacy tools won’t protect you when your spouse issues a subpoena.
Do not ignore the Court’s Orders.
There will be court orders in place related to custody and visitation. You must take actions to help promote those orders and cooperate with them. If there is an order for visitation at a specific time and location, take the lead in setting it up and making sure it happens. You will gain more credibility from the Court by actively supporting a court order, even when you disagree with it. It will give the Court confidence that you are a law abiding person who will comply, which will likely work in your favor when you seek to get those orders amended to be more favorable to you. Some people think that when they disagree with a court’s order they should only comply with it to the extent they are forced to, and never take proactive steps to follow the order. That’s a bad idea and will not serve you well.
Do not overspend.
While the divorce is pending, you must take control of your financial situation. Live below your means and keep track of everything you spend and why you spend it. Extreme diligence and very accurate record keeping will work in your favor when disputes arise over child support, spousal support, or distributing assets from the marriage. Getting through the divorce can be expensive in some cases. Living below your means will allow you to have an emergency fund of money you can pull from if unexpected expenses arise. Find ways to be frugal.
Let me know if I can help with your divorce. Contact us anytime.