Facing a divorce could be as simple as signing a few papers and paying for an uncontested divorce to dissolve your marriage. This would be a short term marriage with no children. In our world, this is called a “pots and pans” divorce. You get the pots and your mate gets the pans. Then again, it could mean an endless court battle with mounting attorney bills, child support issues, fights over assets, and more headaches and heartaches than you want to even think about.
There’s a lot of advice out there about what you should do when you’re preparing for divorce. This post talks about what not to do when getting a divorce.
When you follow these “divorce don’ts”, you’ll be in much better circumstances throughout the process.
Don’t refuse to get help
If your spouse suggests that the two of you get couples’ counseling, you should not refuse. Even if you’re absolutely sure that your relationship is over, this can help your case. If your divorce goes to court, the judge will be a lot more sympathetic if you showed that you wanted to work on your relationship and try to save your marriage.
Don’t just look at going to couples’ counseling as a tool for court, either. There’s a chance that you could see the problems in your relationship and start to see how you can connect again. You married each other for a reason, after all. Perhaps there’s a reason you should stay together, too.
Don’t argue over the little things
If the two of you have decided to part, don’t argue over who gets the toaster and who gets the good sheets. The two of you should try to sit down together and talk about the items you both care the most about. For the rest of it, just take turns picking things. Fighting over these smaller items will just lead to bitter feelings toward one another. These will translate into harsh words in the courtroom that could hurt you.
If your spouse insists on being petty about your shared belongings, then you can suggest having your attorneys split your assets up evenly. Parties have to give and take. Our agency has been involved in thousands of family law matters and I have not yet seen any world-class attorneys divide up a pet.
Don’t use harsh words
When you’ve made the decision to part, try to be as civil as possible.
Whether you feel the need to hire a private investigator to look into your spouse’s affairs or not, your spouse may have hired one to look at you. Don’t miss out investigating your soon to be ex-spouse. A simple asset search on your spouse is usually rudimentary in family law cases and costs less than a thousand dollars. Make sure your PI is considered an expert witness in the courts or you will be throwing your money away. Many attorneys retain us to cover their backside so they don’t leave money on the table. The number of cases where our agency has the main bread-winner in the family and the attorney on the other side doesn’t do a simple asset search is simply astounding. Many wives get far less alimony and child support payments because they have a incompetent and ill-prepared attorney.
Someone could be taking your picture when you argue in public. If it looks, in these pictures, like you’re acting in an abusive manner, your spouse will look a lot better in the courtroom, and you’re likely to lose, either in payments or time with your kids.
Don’t sleep around
Whether you’ve fallen for someone new or you just feel that your needs aren’t being met at home, do not cheat on your spouse. If you begin acting differently, they may hire a private investigator who will uncover the affair and give you a lot of trouble in the divorce proceedings. Wait until you are legally single to start dating again. The Martin rule is “no dating until six months AFTER the divorce is final.”
By the same token, if your spouse’s behavior changes and you suspect that they’re cheating, you might want to consider hiring a private investigator. Although many States are “no-fault,” meaning cheating with ten people is irrelevant and not admissible, there can be a tremendous advantage in using just information or video tapes of the affair in negotiating settlements.
Don’t vent on social media – Even if you delete the post
Do not talk about your divorce or say anything negative about your spouse on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site. You also shouldn’t flirt with anyone online, either. This could be used as admissible evidence in court. Furthermore, if you think that deleting the offending material will save you, think again.
Stay classy during your divorce. If you need to hire a private investigator, you may find evidence against your spouse. Make sure if the tables are turned, you are “as clean as a Safeway chicken.”