There are many decisions that you must make when pursuing a divorce. During difficult times, it can be easy to make mistakes without knowing how damaging (and costly) they can be. What you do now and throughout your divorce can directly impact the outcome. Here are 5 common divorce mistakes to avoid.
1 – Hiding Information
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to hide things, such as assets. Through an attorney’s diligence, information that you tried to conceal may still be found, and the intentional act can backfire on you. There’s a famous case from 1999 in California where a wife won $1.3 million in the lottery a few days before filing for divorce. She kept her winnings a secret, but it ultimately came to light. The judge awarded her ex-husband the entire amount based on the wife’s fraudulent act.
2 – Lying in Court
Lying is another big mistake. We’ve seen many cases where one spouse accuses the other of abuse as leverage in a divorce case. No matter how much you may be angry at your spouse or want revenge, it is never a good idea to lie, especially about something as serious as abuse. In fact, it’s against the law and you could serve jail time for lying to a court while under oath. Not only will you fail at hurting your spouse, but you will also suffer dire consequences yourself. The better approach is to work with a skilled divorce attorney on strategies to achieve your goals while acting legally and ethically.
3 – Sharing Too Much with Others
At stressful times in our lives, we look to others for support and comfort. As you confide in your friends and family members about the challenges of your divorce, be careful not to share too much. Oversharing is one of the most common divorce mistakes. Remember that anything that say or do, privately or on social media, can be used in your divorce case. For example, if you sold your spouse’s prized possessions for significantly less than what it’s worth, and you brag about it on social media, imagine how a judge may perceive your malicious act.
4 – Making Family and Friends Choose Sides
Another of the many divorce mistakes to avoid is badmouthing your ex to others and making them choose sides. This never turns out well. Oftentimes, you can be seen as the unreasonable one and end up ruining relationships with your friends and family. It can be particularly damaging for children. Children benefit from the love and support of both parents, regardless of whether those parents are happily married or divorced. Allowing your children to maintain a relationship with your ex and not forcing them to choose sides will help them through the trauma of the divorce. As difficult as the divorce is on you, it’s a thousand times more difficult on your children.
5 – Not Hiring an Attorney
The last, but most important, of the common divorce mistakes to avoid is not hiring an attorney. Unless you practice law yourself and understand the ins and outs of divorce laws in Massachusetts, a divorce is not something you should do without legal representation. Hiring an attorney ensures that you know your options and that your rights are protected. Even in an uncontested divorce, the help of an attorney is invaluable.
Summary of Common Divorce Mistakes to Avoid
After divorce, you should be able to move on with your life and find happiness again. What you do during your divorce can have a lasting impact and affect your ability to move on. Being aware of these common divorce mistakes can help you avoid them. Contact our team of experienced Massachusetts divorce attorneys for help with your impending divorce. We can help you avoid these common mistakes and help you make decisions that will benefit you both now and in the long run.