The American divorce rate is nearly half the marriage rate, year over year. With divorce as such a prominent feature of our cultural zeitgeist, it’s important to understand the pitfalls and traps that often stick unhappy couples with an even more devastating settlement that infuriates all parties even further.
Making the decision to make a terrible situation even worse.
Often, divorce is the end result of a long and unhappy string of occurrences in the marriage. Rarely does one simply snap and demand a separation. Because of this, proceeding with a divorce filing should be done as carefully and professionally as possible, this is the best course of action for all involved—especially if you have children.
Learning how to find someone to serve court papers for you should be a priority when starting the process. Often tempers can boil over during these exchanges, so employing a neutral third party rather than tackling this emotional and aggravating task yourself could save you and your partner a lot of additional hassle and heartache.
Falling into a social media trap.
Social media is an omnipresent feature of our daily lives. Everyone and their mother is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but if you are going through a divorce, you shouldn’t be. It’s so easy to fall into social media traps, potentially damaging your case beyond repair. Divorce is nearly always a messy proposition, and lawyers are always on the prowl for damaging information that can be used against you during a court proceeding.
Even when set to private, your posts are broadcast out there onto the internet just waiting for the wrong person to find and skew for their own benefit. Disabling your profiles for the duration of your court case can save you migraines worth of pain and even a few dollars.
If you go through the process swanning around with friends and new romances, a judge may be less likely to consider the inevitable heartbreak you are feeling as legitimate. Every divorcee has to hold some anger toward their partner, otherwise, there would be no need to separate, but you should contain your emotions as best you can while the case is being worked out in court. Disabling these floes of information during the process is a great way to cut off the ability to assemble a damaging case against you.
Not accounting for the difference in financial status.
Financial trouble is a common result of the divorce process. It’s not cheap to break from marriage. It’s also not easy to maintain the lifestyle you have become accustomed to while suddenly being cut down to a single income. Not accounting for the difference in financial status is a crucial mistake that too many divorced couples make.
This is particularly troubling with children in the picture because there will inevitably be a need for one parent to take primary custody of the child and the other to provide financial as well as emotional support. However, financial circumstances can change in a flash, so accounting for possible changes of circumstances early in the process can help you avoid the need to revisit financial worries in court later down the line.
Forgetting to dress appropriately for the occasion.
Your court date is typically not a ‘happy’ moment that deserves your best outfit, but showing up to court in jeans and a T-shirt is also a no-go. Get an inexpensive suit or dressy blouses in order to put your best foot forward for the judge and for yourself. As painful as the moment may be, it’s important to present yourself in the best light possible because you are attending an official legal proceeding, after all. The judgment entered at the close of the case will become the legal agreement you must abide by, so you can’t afford to look or be sloppy and unprepared.
Divorce is tough, but navigating it successfully means that you can get on with the next phase of your life without having to live with the consequences of a rough divorce decree.