Seven mistakes people make when divorcing

Are you getting a divorce? Discover seven mistakes you want to avoid to ensure it as smooth and stress-free as possible.

A divorce is usually an emotionally-charged experience for most couples. This situation usually means that you might make expensive and regrettable mistakes that you can easily avoid. 

In this article we look at seven of the most common mistakes people tend to make when they are going through a divorce.

1) Failing to hire a family lawyer from the beginning

When you are about to separate or go through a divorce, you need to learn your family law rights in the initial stages of your divorce process.

Hiring a family lawyer, such as those at Peters and May (check out the Peters And May official website here), will be helpful to you from the very start in regard to understanding your rights and the process you will be going through. 

This will help you avoid making significant mistakes when handling the crucial aspects of your separation or divorce. An attorney can help mediate:

  • Child custody
  • Parenting time and decision-making responsibilities
  • Property issues
  • Spousal support
  • Child support

An expert like a family lawyer in Toronto will understand your family law rights, how to protect them, and how to increase the chances of you receiving fair terms.

2) Attempting to draft your separation agreement in the absence of a legal professional

Some people believe writing a separation agreement is as simple as going online and downloading a separation agreement template and writing it. 

When dealing with a complex divorce case involving property, kids, and support, using a template like this won’t work. A judge can overturn a separation agreement citing reasons like an incomplete or unclear draft or the party lacking legal advice.

3) Seeking legal advice from relatives and friends

Some people may decide to ask friends and family for legal advice if they worry they can’t afford a lawyer. It could be that someone you know has been through a divorce before, and you think they can offer tips to help save you money on speaking to an attorney.

But this can be an expensive mistake. Not all divorces are the same; in fact your circumstances may be very different. Your well meaning friends or relatives may inadvertently give you false information and unreasonable expectations.

You need to remember that friends are family and should only give you emotional support and not legal counsel, as they aren’t legal experts.

4) Moving out of your home before informing your lawyer

It’s usually wise to consult your lawyer before leaving your matrimonial home. (You can go without asking them if you fear for your life.) Leaving home can significantly impact your case regarding child custody. And sometimes, moving out can cause significant financial issues for the party who has left the family home.

It is also important to make a plan before moving out, if possible, particularly if you have children. Moving out without a plan for your parenting time will require you to go to family court quickly. It’s more advantageous for you if you can avoid family court.

5) Not having a budget and living extravagantly

The lifestyle of most divorced and separated people will change after a divorce, especially if your spouse earns more than you or is more financially endowed. At the very least, you will no longer share a home (and the costs associated with it) and will probably need to cover your living expenses on your own.

So it is important to look into financial considerations to prepare for budgeting after. Don’t simply assume you can continue living the same lifestyle when you were married and carry on spending accordingly.

It doesn’t mean that you will live in hardship forevermore, but during this transition period you need to re-evaluate your financial position and make sure you are living within your means so. you don’t get into debt.

6) Giving your spouse cash

Giving your spouse cash is not advisable. You must make all payments through an easily traced method such as email money transfers, bank, or online payment methods.

If you pay for support through cash, you might be treated as someone who didn’t make the payment further down the line, as you will have no proof that payment was made.

7) Failing to provide complete and authentic financial details

If you are undergoing a divorce process, you must provide complete and honest financial disclosure to the person you are divorcing. If you lie about financial information, you could incur enormous court costs and spend more down the line.

Try too make your divorce as smooth as possible

Nobody wishes to go through a divorce, but sometimes it is necessary. If you avoid the above mistakes, there is a high likelihood that you will have a less stressful divorce. There is life after a divorce, so it would be best to consider your mental health and not let the divorce weigh you mentally.

Photo by Bethany Legg