Divorce in itself is not a walk in the park and what makes it even more complicated are the decisions that you have to make and the consequences of them. Because of this, it can be easy to make mistakes here and there.
Deciding to get a divorce is sure to be a very emotional time, and something that usually involves a range of emotions from intense anger, anxiety, or fear, to loneliness and heart-wrenching grief. However, if there is something that you can do to avoid those extreme feelings, then you really have to give it your best shot because it will certainly lighten the burden that you already are carrying.
These are the common divorce blunders that you might make but should avoid at all costs.
1. Thinking of divorce as a way to avenge yourself
Your marriage may have caused you a lot of pain but the divorce process will not help heal you of that pain when you use it to retaliate against your partner or other involved parties. When you think of divorce as a war that you need to win, then you or your spouse might end up spending more and getting less from what you were supposed to split 50-50.
Instead of driving up associated costs, think of the divorce as a business deal and an opportunity to generate profits more. It has to be a win-win situation where you both benefit equally. As such, try to be as emotionally neutral as you possibly can so that you can think in objective and logical terms. If your emotions are too overwhelming for you, then ask a therapist to help equip you with the right coping strategies.
2. Not considering mediation as an option
When there are so many things that are clouding your judgment, you will tend to think that litigation is the only option. Many couples are able to mediate their divorce successfully, even if they are the angriest or the most aggressive ones. This is because mediation is a non-adversarial process that gives couples the chance to work things out with the help of a neutral mediator. Mediation is really a quick, fair, and inexpensive alternative to litigation and you should consider it first to figure out the terms of your divorce together.
The great thing is that, the children are likewise winners in the mediation because instead of the court setting the terms, it allows you as a parental unit to decide on co-parenting practices that will be most beneficial for the children.
3. Filing for divorce at a time you think is convenient for you
Just about any time is not the best time for filing a divorce and there are huge disadvantages when you do so during particular times. You have to be at your most strategic mode during these times and plan for when to file for divorce. This is often overlooked, but the filing date for divorce establishes cut-off times for claims against some marital assets, including 401(s)s. Say for instance, you opted to file for divorce in the month of April, the division of the 401(k) is going to be based on what it’s worth for the month and never beyond that. Consequently, if you are the one contributing to a retirement plan or the 401(k), you will want to file for divorce as soon as possible to protect your assets. However, if you are a non-contributing spouse, filing later could be more strategic in your situation.
4. Not getting a written separation agreement
Florida law does not require that the parties enter into a written separation agreement and there is now law that makes separation agreement mandatory. However, if you and your spouse are on speaking terms and are getting along, a separation agreement could make the process towards a divorce much easier. A separation agreement can help to establish financial boundaries by agreeing to temporary spousal support and if there are children involved, it can help to establish a sense of stability for the children by developing a temporary time-sharing schedule and child support.
The real value of a separation agreement comes if the divorce process takes longer than expected because it provides for temporary financial support. However, separation agreements are only binding if there are written and signed by both parties. An oral promise is not enforceable.
5. Delaying meeting with your lawyer
During divorce, your lawyer is your best ally and delaying meeting up with him or her can mean disaster with all the deadlines, decisions, and potential court dates that you have to deal with. You have to arm yourself with the right knowledge about the process and prepare for it with the right legal professional by your side.
In fact, you will be able to avoid a lot of mistakes when you are able to consult an experienced advisor early on as they will help you explore your options. Getting help from a trusted family law attorney can save you from huge expenses, time wasted, and a lot of stress.
Seff & Capizzi Law Group understands the importance of family in today’s world, and we can analyze your divorce case to determine the course of action that will be best for you and your children.
If you need assistance with your divorce, please call us at (954) 920-9220. We have over 40 years of experience and offer a free consultation. Click here for more information about our family law practice and how Seff & Capizzi can help.