Avoid These Top Three Divorce Mistakes
I am attorney Terry Fawell, and I have practiced in family law exclusively since 1980 from my law office in Wheaton, Illinois. My firm handles a variety of family law issues such as divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, paternity, guardianship and stepparent adoptions.
Over the years, I have seen individuals without legal advisers make numerous mistakes. Here are just a few of the most common pitfalls to avoid in the divorce process:
1. Using The Children As Tools
Some parents try to use the children as a weapon or tool to gain the upper hand in a divorce dispute by making negative comments and involving the children in the proceedings. Likewise, it’s not uncommon for one parent to try to damage a child’s relationship with the other parent, leading to parental alienation syndrome. The bottom line is this: Don’t make your children the casualties in the war with your spouse.
2. Allowing Emotions To Control You
Many people make decisions based on emotion instead of on logic and seek to punish the other spouse rather than to get the most for themselves. This can be a significant mistake during divorce. While you may have a sentimental attachment to the family house, for instance, it may not actually make financial sense for you to keep it. Can you afford the upkeep, the mortgage, the property taxes and other expenses on one income? Maybe, maybe not.
As your lawyer, I can help you think through the economic implications of your choices so that you don’t find yourself in an untenable situation in the future.
3. Airing Your Dirty Laundry
Social media platforms are wonderful tools to keep in contact with friends and to stay up to date with current events. They are terrible places to discuss your divorce and complain about your ex. Messages and photographs posted to social media are often used as evidence in family court, and they never make you look good to the judge.
Even if your account is private, the content still exists. Why take the risk? This goes for text messages as well. Screen shots of arguments and name-calling via text don’t cast you in the best light either. Before you send that message, think to yourself: “Is this something I want circulated between the lawyers and read by the judge?” If the answer is no, just don’t send it.