Groups » Eight Ways to Mess up Your Divorce

Divorce is a gut-wrenching and painful experience that can leave you scarred for life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50 percent of the marriages in the United States end in divorce.

The difficult ordeal of going through a divorce can turn you into either a better or a bitter person. Unfortunately, there are several ways to mess up your divorce. Surprising as it may sound, most people ruin their lives because of a lousy divorce. Here are eight things that can lead to a bad divorce and should be avoided to prevent conflicts.

1. Living in Self Pity

Self-pity is the sign of mental weakness. When you concentrate too much on self-pity, you start losing your focus. In fact, feeling sorry for yourself can be self-destructive. Do not let self-pity sabotage your future. Instead, use your divorce to make you a stronger and a better person. Your emotional state influences how you perceive reality. So, if you are feeling sorry for yourself, you are more likely to overlook the good things in your life. Focus all your mental and physical energy on resolving the conflict instead of focusing on your perceived victimization.

2. Hiring the Wrong Lawyer

There is no reason to choose a lawyer at random. Most people tend to choose the first lawyer whom they come across. Don’t let that happen to you. Shop around, ask for referrals, and speak with your friends before hiring a lawyer. You need a lawyer who specializes in handling divorce cases similar to yours.

In America, divorce is governed by the laws of the state in which it occurs. So, there is no point in hiring a lawyer who handles divorce law cases in Florida if you are from California. You want a lawyer who is familiar with local procedures and the family laws in your state.

3. Losing Your Emotional Balance

Divorce will probably be the most emotional battle you’ll have to face in your life. You will not just be dealing with the cold legal process, but a variety of human emotions. Anger, grief, remorse, sadness, and disappointment are the most common feelings that overcome you when dealing with a divorce.

Of all the emotions, losing your temper may cost you dearly. Throwing a tantrum won't help either. On the contrary, it will aggravate the situation. At times, people get so angry that they make harsh and threatening statements. If you threaten your spouse, he/she has the right to get a restraining order against you. Having a criminal record, such as a restraining order, can make it difficult for you to get jobs, bank loans, or an apartment. Besides, you may lose custody and visitation rights of your children.

4. Relying Too Much on Your Lawyer

Although a competent divorce attorney will do everything in his/ her power to help you, there are limits to what he/she can do. A lawyer may not be able to help you with anything except the legal process. You need to figure out certain things on your own. You may need to collect and file several documents related to your case, including copies of your financial and personal documents. You should also familiarize yourself with divorce law in general and the family laws applicable in your state before going to an attorney.

5. Treating Your Lawyer as a Friend or as a Therapist

Don’t treat your lawyer as your new best friend or a therapist. Turning to your lawyer for emotional support is a huge mistake. As a matter of fact, the more neutral your lawyer is the better. This way, he/ she can help you get an unbiased settlement as early as possible. Calling your attorney for emotional support will not only affect his/her work efficiency, but also exhaust your litigation budget.

You should not think of your attorney as a therapist, either. Usually, attorneys are not trained as therapists and should not be treated as such. Instead, you can hire a professional therapist to manage the volatile emotions that need to be contained, and let the lawyer handle your legal requirements.

6. Having Unrealistic Expectations

Stop clinging to unrealistic expectations if you want a peaceful divorce. Every time you ask your lawyer to file a motion for no reason, you are blowing your case out of proportion and wasting your time and money in doing so. Speak frankly with your attorney about your expectations before going for mediation, and stick to his/ her advice. Remember, your lawyer will always try to get you the best deal, but even he/ she cannot satisfy your unrealistic expectations.

7. Lying to Your Attorney or the Court

How can your lawyer help you if you aren't honest with him/ her? You should always cooperate with your lawyer whenever he/ she asks for information. Make sure not to hide any bank account details, debts, or other assets from your attorney. The attorney won’t stick around if he/ she finds out that you have lied to him/ her. Lying to your attorney will only weaken your case. Further, you can be committing perjury, if you lie under oath at a deposition, at a hearing, or at the trial. Besides, the judge may assume that if you lied about one thing, you are also lying about everything else. In most contested divorce cases, your credibility plays a critical role in court.

8. Over-sharing Information on Social Media

Over-sharing on social media during your divorce can be fatal to your case. It may result in losing joint custody or an inequitable division of the property. Most people over-share information relating to affairs, poor parenting, physical abuse, and domestic issues which may backfire on you. If possible, you should deactivate your social media account and stay away from it until the divorce is complete. Above all, don’t delete questionable posts because it may be perceived as an act of destroying evidence.

The decision to divorce is not easy. In fact, for most people, a divorce can be pretty ugly. Usually, your emotional outbursts can delay the litigation process, turning your separation into a nightmare. Several factors can mess up your divorce. The good news is, most of these things are voluntary, which you can easily avoid, making your separation as peaceful and stress-free as possible.

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