During a divorce, spouses will undertake the tremendously complex task of dividing a shared life. Couples must make decisions on issues ranging from child custody to the distribution of marital assets. With so much on the line, emotions such as anger, frustration, and confusion can make it difficult to know what you are supposed to do. In the heat of the moment, it can be easy to say or do something which may irrevocably hurt your interests. Below are five common mistakes made by divorcing spouses and strategies you can take to avoid them.
5 common divorce mistakes include:
- Acting out of anger: While arguments and disagreements are an inevitable part of a divorce, it is important to avoid acting on emotions in the heat of the moment. What you say and do, even in the privacy of your home, can greatly affect how your divorce proceeds. For example, if you yell at your spouse in frustration, they may be able to claim you acted aggressively and file a restraining order. A court order can keep you from seeing your kids, staying in your home, and can damage your credibility in court. It is important to always be mindful of your actions and take any precautionary measures if necessary.
- Failing to document all assets: New York is an “equitable” distribution state when it comes to the division of property. This means that property is split “fairly”, not equally. While what is considered equal will depend on numerous aspects of your marriage, the fair division of property is dependent on the accurate evaluation of all assets. When it comes to determining the total value of a marital estate, failing to investigate every item or giving your spouse the benefit of the doubt regarding an evaluation can leave money on the table. If your financial assets are complex, the services of a specialist such as a forensic accountant may be in order.
- Disobeying a court order: In the event that a court order has been issued against you, it is vital to obey the terms, even if you believe that the order was unfounded. Temporary restraining orders, for example, require a comparatively low burden of proof to issue and can be common in a divorce. Many spouses may feel they have been unjustly targeted and then attempt to rectify the situation by reaching out to their partner directly. This can be a direct violation of the court order and can hurt a spouse’s credibility in court. Always dispute court orders through the proper legal channels.
- Overusing social media: Online platforms such as Google+, Facebook, and Instagram have fundamentally changed the way people communicate. While many couples would like to think that the legal and social media worlds are completely separate, what goes on in one can affect the other. Most information that is shared online is publicly available and can be viewed by your spouse’s legal counsel and used against you in court. For example, if you make a vague remark about an upcoming bonus or raise, it may call into question your financial disclosures.
- Not asking questions: The legal process is incredibly complex and as such it is understandable that you will not always be knowledgeable about each aspect of your case. While this can be intimidating, you should not be afraid to ask questions and seek clarification about issues that you do not fully understand. Your attorney is your trusted counsel and your case will be strongest when everyone on your legal team is on the same page.
Working Through a Divorce? Call (631) 880-6440
When a marriage has fallen apart, it can be difficult to know where pitfalls may exist, however, you do not have to navigate this process alone. At the Hedayati Law Group, P.C., we understand the legal hurdles that divorcing spouses may face and can work tirelessly to see that your interests are protected. Our Long Island family law attorneys possess more than 80 years of combined experience and work together as a team to help achieve the best results for our clients. If you are currently working through a divorce or you anticipate that a divorce may be on the horizon, do not hesitate to contact our firm.
Questions about your divorce? Request an initial consultation with our firm and get the answers you need.