Going through a divorce is usually an emotional and stressful process, but it is important to keep your head on your shoulders. Thinking clearly will help ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly as it possibly can. If you're going through a divorce or plan to be divorcing soon, avoid these common mistakes:
Not Hiring a Divorce Attorney
While it is possible to facilitate a divorce without legal counsel, it is not in your best interest to do so. Since a divorce can be so emotional, it is very important to have a neutral third party who understands the law representing you if you want to ensure that the terms of your divorce are fair and equitable. If you plan to file for a divorce, you should meet with a divorce attorney before the paperwork is submitted to the court. In the event that your spouse files for divorce first, seek legal council as soon as you receive divorce papers.
Putting Your Children in the Middle
The whole family can suffer when going through a divorce, but if you want to help your kids and promote healing in the long run, never put your kids in the middle between you and your spouse. It is important to avoid arguing in front of your kids, and refrain from talking badly about your spouse or questioning your kids about what he or she has been doing during the separation.
Neglecting to Understand Your Finances
If you and your spouse are like most married couples, your finances are probably combined in some way. When divorcing, it is essential to clearly understand what assets you hold together, as well as what debts you are both responsible for. Gather important documents, such as bank statements, retirement account statements, any statements for investments you hold together, and property deeds that are in both of your names. Also look for things like credit card statements and car loan paper work so you can figure out your combined debt. You have a much better chance of a fair division of assets when you know your exact financial situation.
Failing to Create a Post-Divorce Budget
Most people find that their financial situation changes after a divorce, sometimes drastically. In order to avoid any unpleasant surprises after the divorce is finalized, it is a good idea to create a realistic post-divorce budget. This will allow you to figure out where you can afford to live, and how you will pay your bills and take care of your kids' needs.