How to avoid five common divorce mistakes.
Staying clear of these common pitfalls will save you time and money.
Divorce can sometimes feel like a minefield. Which path to take isn’t always clear, and missteps are easy to come by. When you’re facing divorce in Columbus, Ohio, family law attorneys at Weis + O'Connor are ready to help you avoid common divorce mistakes.
1. Not knowing where you stand financially.
Many considering divorce are stuck facing a bevy of new money questions. Doing your financial homework will save you from falling into money traps or being caught unaware.
Your last two or three tax returns will list any interest earnings, dividends or capital gains that your spouse reported. By comparing the financial affidavit to the tax return, you can balance assets and look for omissions. You should also plan ahead by budgeting your post-divorce earnings and spending.
2. Letting your emotions affect your actions.
It’s easy to let emotions take hold during such a personal time, so staying focused on your goals is critical. Creating a list of achievable goals, will help you not only have a clear picture of what you want out of the divorce, but also keep you in the right mindset. Once your goals have been set, author Jeffrey Landers writes that you should:
- Collect and safely store any relevant financial documents
- Watch your credit report for unusual activity
- Open new bank accounts and new credit cards under your name alone to begin to establish credit
- Ensure privacy in your communications (change email and mobile passwords) so that your spouse cannot monitor your correspondences
Diligence is the key to working out your financial future, Landers writes. Get a copy of your credit report, monitor and catalog all spending and ensure that you have secured funds for attorney and analyst fees.
3. Refusing to compromise with your spouse.
Dissolution, a form of no-fault divorce, is the quickest and cheapest route when it comes to divorce in Ohio. This option requires both parties to agree on all issues surrounding the end of their marriage before filing any papers with the court. The documents must detail the terms of the husband and wife’s agreement, including spousal support, parental rights, child support and the division of assets and liabilities. Both spouses must appear before a judge and state their agreement to end the marriage.
Be prepared that settling out of court means being willing to compromise with your spouse [link to “How long does divorce take in Ohio?”]. A recurring divorce pitfall is a client’s unwillingness to budge and entrenching him or herself in a particular position. We’ve said it time and again: Principle is expensive. Fighting tooth and nail for the “principle of the thing” will only draw out the dissolution process. But if you and your spouse are willing to work with your lawyers to reach an agreement, you will save both time and money. [DL1]
4. Flaunting a new love interest.
Flaunting a new lover won’t just hurt your ex and your children, it’s a surefire way to draw out the divorce process and empty your wallet. Not only will this make the court unsympathetic to you, it may trigger a costly retaliation from your spouse.
When it comes to the kids, watching boyfriends or girlfriends come and go will only exacerbate the emotional rollercoaster of divorce. Ultimately, if you’re interested in saving time, money and emotions, it’s in everyone’s best interest to put off dating until the divorce is complete.
5. Using your child as the go-between.
Forcing your children to be the messenger might save you the grief of having to talk to your ex, but it will only cause your kids more pain. While communication is key to having a smooth divorce, it continues to play a critical role in maintaining healthy relationships with your children.
During the holiday season, set a time to discuss any details with your spouse, especially points that might not be addressed in the custody agreement. Be prepared to compromise and always put your children’s needs ahead of your own. Making the transition to separate holidays will come easier to kids whose parents show compassion and model responsible behavior.
Get in touch.
If you’re facing divorce contact Columbus, Ohio, family law attorneys Weis + O'Connor today to schedule a consultation with one of our trusted attorneys.