Divorce is never easy – even for the most civilized couples. With so much anger, frustration and fear, it’s all-too-easy to let your emotions get the best of you. But losing your head can cause you to make one (or more) of these 20 huge mistakes, which can cost you big time.
1. Ignoring Your Children’s Feelings and Emotions
Divorce is an extremely stressful time for children. If the proceedings are especially heated, the entire fiasco can be traumatic and leave a lasting impression on the kids.
During a divorce, it’s important to put the children first. Avoid putting them in the middle of arguments, and keep them out of the proceedings whenever possible. Talk to your children about what’s going on, and reassure them that their parents’ love for them has not changed.
2. Refusing to Sign the Divorce Papers
It can be difficult to face the reality that divorce is the best course of action, but nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce in the U.S. There is nothing to be ashamed of, and the social stigma that was once tied to the dissolution of marriage is no longer an issue.
3. Fighting For More than Your Fair Share of the Divorce Settlement
Some divorce lawyers will be more than happy to fight for whatever you feel you deserve, but at what cost to you? Fighting for more than you deserve means dragging out the divorce for months – maybe years.
In the end, you’ll only wind up costing you and your ex more money, and you’ll upset the kids in the process.
4. Blaming Your Spouse and Other People for Your Divorce
It takes two to build and destroy a marriage. In most cases, both parties are at least partly to blame for a marriage ending in divorce.
5. Blaming Other People
While other people in your life may have a played a role in the downfall of your union, they are just one of many factors that led you and your ex to this juncture in life.
6. Ignoring Reality
It can be difficult to come to grips with the fact that your marriage is over, but if you hope to get your fair share in the settlement, you’ll need to keep your head in the game.
7. Cutting Off Communication with Your Ex
It may be tempting to cut off communication with your ex altogether during a divorce. You’re probably feeling a whirlwind of emotions, including anger and hurt, but you need to remain in contact with your former partner.
Communication and cooperation can help make the divorce go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
8. Dismissing Mediation
Most divorces are settled out of the courtroom through an agreement between both parties. Rather than dragging out the proceedings, consider mediation to help resolve disagreements and streamline the path to finalizing your divorce.
9. Assuming You’ll Win All of Your Battles
There are no guarantees in divorce cases. Even if you have strong arguments, you may still lose a few battles. Do not let overconfidence blind you from making smart decisions.
10.Letting Your Emotions Get the Best of You
Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster, and it’s not always easy to get off the ride. The stakes are too high to let your emotions get the best of you.
When you allow your emotions to control your actions, it often leads to making poor decisions. In divorce cases, poor decisions can be disastrous and expensive.
11.Accumulating More Debt
The cost of divorce can be astronomical, depending on how long the proceedings last. Accumulating even more debt will only cause you more financial hardship. Cut back on unnecessary expenses to avoid bankrupting your family.
12. Holding a Grudge against Your Partner
It can be difficult to forgive your partner during and after a divorce, but holding a grudge is neither healthy, nor productive. For the sake of your children and your sanity, try to forgive your partner’s transgressions and put the past behind you.
Starting a personal vendetta will only cloud your judgment, which can lead to bad decisions and drag out your divorce.
13. Settling Too Quickly
No one wants to drag on a divorce any longer than it needs to be, but settling too quickly may prevent you from getting your fair share. If your lawyer thinks you’re getting a bad deal, consider holding on and fighting for what you’re legally entitled to.
14. Waiting to File
Maybe you’re waiting for just the “right” time to file for divorce. There is never a good time to get divorced, so if you’re certain your marriage is headed in this direction, don’t wait to start proceedings.
15.Refusing to Try Therapy
Divorce marks the ending of one chapter of your life, but it also marks the start of a new one. Starting a new life can be difficult, so if you’re offered the opportunity to speak with a therapist, consider giving it a try.
Therapy can give you the tools you need to transition into your new life as smoothly as possible.
16.Ignoring Your Will
Unless you still plan on leaving everything to your ex, you’ll want to update your will as soon as possible. Life can be unpredictable, so take steps to plan for your new future as soon as the divorce is finalized.
17.Not Being Honest with Your Lawyer
It’s important to remember that your lawyer is not the enemy. The only thing your lawyer wants is to get you the best possible deal. Lying or withholding information can cause things to go completely wrong.
18. Posting about the Divorce on Social Media
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but it can also be your biggest enemy if you’re going through a divorce.
Bashing your ex on Facebook or other social media sites won’t help your case. Damaging posts with incriminating evidence can wind up costing you in the long run, so be mindful of what you share on social networks.
19.Selling Your Former Partner’s Possessions
It may be tempting to sell your ex’s possessions out of anger or resentment, but doing so could land you in hot water, especially if those assets are requested through the courts.
20.Abusing Drugs or Alcohol
Divorce can dredge up a myriad of feelings, from anger to resentment, fear and depression. Drinking alcohol or using drugs will not resolve the problem. Consider speaking with a therapist or turning to your support system of friends and family for help getting through this difficult time.