As difficult as it may seem, you will want to do everything you can to avoid making hasty or rash decisions during your divorce.
It is no secret that divorce can be an emotionally difficult process. If you are planning to end your marriage, this means that what was once a loving relationship that you expected to last forever has broken down beyond repair. This alone can be devastating, but when it is coupled with concerns about your finances, changes in your living situation, and disagreements about how you will share custody of your children, you may feel overwhelmed, and this may lead you to make decisions that are not in your best interests.
As difficult as it may seem, you will want to do everything you can to avoid making hasty or rash decisions during your divorce. Here are some common mistakes that divorcing spouses often fall prey to when they let their emotions take over:
- Trying to punish the other spouse – It is not uncommon for one spouse to blame the other for the failure of their marriage. However, the decisions made during the divorce process are based on a family’s circumstances and needs rather than on “marital misconduct.” Even if you believe that your marriage ended because of your spouse’s actions, this does not mean that they should receive a smaller share of your marital property, that they have given up their right to receive spousal maintenance, or that you should automatically be granted primary custody of your children. Attempting to punish your spouse through the court will usually only lead to a longer and more expensive divorce process, and it may result in unfavorable decisions for you.
- Hiding assets or wasting marital property – You may have certain items that you believe are more important to you than they are to your spouse, or you may feel that your spouse does not deserve to keep an equal share of your marital property. However, if you attempt to conceal any assets to avoid dividing them with your spouse, you could be penalized for doing so. You could also face penalties if you purposely destroy any property or spend marital funds for non-marital purposes. Regardless of how you feel about the division of property, a full inventory must be taken of your marital assets, and all of your marital property should be equitably divided between you and your spouse.
- Putting children in the middle – Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, and your children will definitely feel the effects of your split, especially if they will be moving to a new home and spending less time with one or both parents. To avoid making matters worse, you should be sure to never involve children in arguments or disputes with your spouse. Even if they ask you about the reasons for your divorce, it is best to avoid laying blame or sharing inappropriate details. Instead, you can just let your children know that your divorce is a matter that is between you and your spouse while reassuring them that they are not at fault in any way. Asking your children to pick sides between you and your spouse, blaming your spouse for the divorce or other family problems, or otherwise attempting to harm your children’s relationship with their other parent could be considered parental alienation, and these types of actions could result in unfavorable decisions regarding child custody.
- Refusing to follow the court’s orders – The court will make a variety of decisions during the divorce process, and you and your spouse will be required to follow these orders, even if you do not agree with them or if you think they are unfair. If you do not turn over property to your spouse as required, refuse to pay financial support, or fail to pick up or drop off children on time, you could face penalties, including being held in contempt of court.
- Not hiring an experienced divorce lawyer – You may believe that you can complete your divorce more quickly if you do so without an attorney, or you might think that you will be able to easily work out an agreement with your spouse in hopes of avoiding conflict or prolonging the divorce process. However, this can ultimately cause you much more trouble in the long run. If all of the legal issues involved in ending your marriage are not addressed correctly, you may encounter additional disputes or problems related to your property, your finances, or your children. Returning to court to address these concerns can greatly increase your legal costs and complications, so you will want to take steps to ensure that everything is handled properly before your divorce is finalized. By working with an experienced Naperville divorce lawyer, you can make sure you have considered all of the legal and financial aspects of your divorce, and you can make decisions that will protect your family’s best interests in the years to come.