Divorce can be unpleasant and stressful. But spouses can make it worse and create avoidable consequences.
Your children’s best interest is your top priority. They are never a party to the divorce, messengers, a negotiating tactic, your counselor or a method to aggravate your soon-to-be former spouse.
This behavior can injure your children. It may also damage your relationship with them, your spouse and your family. Judges typically punish spouses who unnecessarily involve their children or harm them.
Seeking a lot and refusing to surrender may be acceptable. Unreasonable demands, however, may only antagonize your spouse and judge, reduce your credibility before the court, prolong the divorce and increase legal fees.
Reasonableness and practicality, not anger or revenge, should govern your decisions. Otherwise, you may suffer the consequences and costs for being unreasonable.
Never assume that debt will be divided equally. Courts may issue a financial restraining order preventing spouses from assuming more debt. A spouse who violates that order may have to assume that debt.
Property transfer must be done legally and formally. Casual arrangements may cause problems, especially if a spouse declares bankruptcy.
Obtain a judicial order before you give, title or quitclaim anything to your spouse. Without a court order, that property may be reclaimed by the bankruptcy estate and sold to satisfy creditors if a spouse declares bankruptcy.
Do not use joint accounts for personal purchases. Any expenditures from these accounts need to be documented. Be prepared to explain them.
Courts may order the repayment of funds that were spent inappropriately. This may prolong the divorce proceedings and cost you your credibility.
Your words may be used against you. Be careful about your texts, emails, or statements made in front of other people concerning the divorce, your children and your spouse.
Never say or write or anything while angry or upset. Your lawyer should handle communications with your spouse and their attorney.
Likewise, avoid the temptation to post anything online about your divorce, custody disputes or your children’s extracurricular activities on social platforms. Posts about your spending and social life may backfire on you in custody and support disputes.
Adjust your privacy settings to restrict who can see your posts. Never assume that your posts will stay confidential because these may be screenshotted, shared or downloaded.
Attorneys can help you seek a fair and reasonable agreement. They may also protect your rights in proceedings.