5 Mistakes to Avoid in a Divorce
Divorce can take a severe emotional and financial toll on the parties involved, even when things go relatively smoothly. It can also quickly become a lengthy and exhausting process when the spouses cannot agree on major issues. While every divorce is different (because every relationship is different), there are some very common mistakes divorcing couples make that can cause their divorces to take longer, be more expensive, and be more acrimonious than necessary. A Stockton divorce attorney can help you avoid some of these mistakes.
1. Relying too Much on Advice from Friends
Friends are a great source of emotional support in the early stages of a divorce. However, you should take any advice they give — especially legal advice — with a grain of salt. Your friends likely do not know the full details of your situation, so any advice they give will be based on an incomplete set of facts. They are also not neutral; their advice may be good for you but could be harmful to your spouse or children. And they do not know the law; acting on mistaken legal advice from friends could harm your case.
2. Speaking Ill of Your Spouse to Your Children
Divorce and child custody fights are hardest on children. As such, you should take great care to minimize the potential harm your children will endure. This includes refraining from speaking ill of your spouse to them. Badmouthing your spouse causes needless emotional harm to your children and can lead to allegations of parental alienation — a form of child abuse wherein one parent attempts to turn a child against the other parent.
3. Hiding Assets
California is a community property state, meaning that all marital property is divided 50-50 upon divorce. Unless there is a prenuptial agreement in place, it can be very tempting to hide assets from your spouse during a divorce. However, hiding assets is illegal and can lead to severe penalties against you, including forfeiture of the total value of the asset. Hiding assets is particularly common in high asset divorce.
4. Having Unrealistic Expectations
Divorce requires compromise, just like marriage. Do not go into a divorce assuming that your life will be mostly the same as it was before the divorce, only without your spouse. All divorces require negotiation and give-and-take, which means that you will not get everything you want. The more realistic you are about your expectations — and the more willing you are to compromise — the smoother your divorce will be.
5. Ignoring Court Orders
You may not agree with every court order during your divorce. For example, you may not think you should be required to pay alimony or that the amount of alimony is too high. However, refusing to follow court orders can significantly diminish your standing before the court and could even lead to charges of contempt.
Get More Advice from a Stockton Divorce Attorney
For more information about how to handle complex issues in a divorce, please contact a Stockton divorce attorney at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau by using our online form or calling us at 209-477-8171.