Dealing with divorce and child custody is one of the most stressful problems you’ll ever have to tackle. Most people suffer through mistakes along the way. Avoid them to save money as well as your sanity.
To do your best throughout your divorce, watch out for the following common pitfalls:
Ignoring the End Game
When you get a divorce, you aren’t just separating your life from someone else’s. You’re starting a new chapter in your own story, so be prepared to write it well. Ensure the stipulations you’re agreeing to don’t leave you destitute or in danger of losing even more freedom or income in the future. Filing a joint tax return or selling the family home, for instance, are two routine decisions you don’t want to make without taking all facts into consideration. Make certain your attorney is advising you on decisions while taking your situation to heart and not just handing out cookie-cutter advice.
Showing Your Hand Too Early
Divorce isn’t usually something to file for overnight, without some preparation. It is important to speak to a divorce attorney regarding your particular situation. You may want to gather and obtain documentation or other evidence and preserve it for use during the divorce. It is not unusual for documents or other information to no longer be available after the filing of a divorce. For instance, if your spouse is cheating, if you’re planning to move across country for a new job or your spouse has already left, your access to information and documentation that may be critical to the outcome of your case may be more difficult to obtain after your spouse is aware of your intention to file for divorce. Threatening to file or gloating to your spouse gives your partner time to hide assets, destroy evidence, cut off your financial resources, and ruin your credit or worse.
Demonizing Your Spouse
Broken hearts and rationality rarely go hand in hand. It’s easy to focus too intently on your pain, especially if you’ve been mistreated. Focusing on your spouses flawed character or bad decisions can blind you from the real issues to be addressed. This can also present problems if you are called to testify in a hearing or trial. The court may feel that the information is irrelevant to the case and you may appear vindictive. If you come across as unreasonable, it can hurt your credibility, making it harder for the court to trust your accounting of events. Not to mention, if child custody is on the table, this behavior can raise concerns about your ability to provide a healthy and happy home.
Presentation is Important
The judge is a person, first and foremost, and will often have to form personal opinions about you based on your testimony. The way you present yourself can be more important than any accusation you could lob at your spouse. If you’re relatively calm in court, and if you stick to sharing facts and respond thoughtfully to questions, it can have a bigger impact on your divorce and custody applications than any credentials you could present to the judge. Why? It is more likely that you will be perceived as rational, truthful and reliable in the eyes of the court.
Divorce doesn’t come easy, especially if you have children. It can be incredibly difficult to keep a clear head and act responsibly. Having the right legal support can make all the difference.
You don’t have to find answers about divorce and child custody on your own. Call (770) 475-2521 to contact the Reeder Law Firm now, and get the help you need.