8 Common Mistakes People Make in a Divorce

October 27, 2014

Divorce Mistakes in Ohio

Divorce is not an easy process; often it is a strain on both spouses.  Many couples are so distraught when initially filing for a divorce that they forget to protect their interests or properly prepare for the future. Hiring the right Columbus divorce lawyers can help reduce the amount of distress while finalizing a divorce. Below you will find a list of 8 common mistakes that people make before, during, and after a divorce.

  1. Move out of the marital home without first hiring an attorney

It is important that you don’t leave the house until you have met with an attorney. If you have children and you leave the marital home while seeking primary custody, you will have weakened your case to seek primary custody.  The court is looking for a parent who can provide consistency and a stable environment for the child or children.  Leaving the marital home may signal the stability will not be found with the vacating parent. Women and men are both advised to do their best to remain in the home.  Even if a soon to be ex-spouse asks for your to leave the home, your absence can only weaken your position.  It is very important to remember that nobody can force you to leave the home unless his or her demand is accompanied by a court order. 

The situation changes drastically if you feel that you or your children are in danger, or there is a threat of imminent harm.  If this is the case, it is important to find a Columbus divorce attorney that can help you.  If there is abuse in the home, then a family lawyer should be able to seek the appropriate protections via court order and preserve your claim on the home and good standing for primary custody. 

  1. Refuse to see a therapist. 

Divorce can be exhausting, both physically and mentally.  It is important that you take the time to take care of yourself.  Surround yourself with a strong team of experts to help you through this difficult time.  Finding the time to build yourself a strong foundation in your new situation is very important.  Awareness of your new future is one thing, but preparing yourself mentally is another.  Not only do you need to stay mentally strong for yourself, but also you need to remain functional and grounded for your children. 

Columbus Divorce lawyers with a background in psychology can help direct you to the proper therapist.  Once you are open an honest with your attorney that you will seek counseling, they will know that you are addressing the feelings caused by the divorce.  Many times people use the opportunity to invite any children to speak with a therapist.  Divorce can be a confusing time for a child, and speaking with a professional can help allay fears or any insecurities that may surface during the proceedings. 

  1. Take it out on the kids.

In addition to taking care of your self, it can be hard when the divorce will affect children.  It can be hard to keep your thoughts to yourself, and often you can find yourself on the phone with children within earshot.  Remember not to get upset at your children.  If it comes time to talk to your kids and let them know that a divorce is imminent, be sure to explain it to them in general terms.  No need to go into the details of the negotiations, or custody disputes.  Many times children can feel like the divorce is their fault.  They understand more than we can imagine, but often internalize the problems, often blaming themselves for the entirety of the divorce. 

Work with a team to reassure them that they are still loved, and none of the child’s actions led to the divorce.  Having the right Columbus Divorce lawyer on your side will help prepare you for the inevitable conversations with your children.  Select an attorney who can understand the psychological stressors that can face children during the divorce process. 

  1. Make plans to move out of the city for work during a divorce proceeding.

It is important that you don’t give the judge or the opposing counsel any doubt during a custody battle, which is why it is important to wait until the finalization of the divorce decree to move out of town for work.  The economy is still recovering, and jobs are difficult to come by, but if you move out of the marital home and out of town to take a job, it will be difficult to convince the judge to award you custody.  Divorce can be time consuming but with a skilled team of lawyers, you should be able to address the divorce proceedings, and focus on the future.

  1. Wait until after the holidays

Many couples who contemplate divorce attempt to reconcile over the holidays, which leads to painful fights or other uncomfortable situations.  If you know that your marriage is not working and would like to seek some form of separation, it is better to act.  Contact a divorce lawyer in Columbus, Ohio to ask questions, and enquire as to the options available.  The last thing you want to do is put you or your family through additional hardship during the holidays.  Remember it is better to deal with a lawyer with a strong understanding of psychology in instances such as divorce close to the holidays.  In addition, if you feel unsafe because you fear for what may happen around the holidays with a spouse that may suffer a psychological problem, it is best to seek help as soon as possible so the affected spouse can begin treatment. 

  1. Violate court orders during the divorce proceedings, including temporary custody orders

This is especially true during custody cases where the court is watching to see what is in the best interest of the child, or children involved.  It is still important to be involved in their lives, but do not violate the court orders. During the proceedings, the court will grant special protections, temporary custody orders, and even temporary restraining orders to protect a spouse or child.  It is important that both parties show the judge that they are willing to accept the guidance of the court in these matters.  If you feel that the court order is unduly unfair, rather than violate the order and be held in contempt, you should contact a divorce attorney to help clarify or fight some of the temporary orders. 

  1. Increase your debt

During the divorce proceedings, the attorney will ask if you have any assets that would be divided as marital property.  He will also ask about any joint debt.  It is important to address the issue of debt because if you acquire debt as a couple, both are bound to the debt.  It is very important not to acquire any additional debt, and that goes for both yourself and your spouse.  The best action to take is to contact a divorce lawyer for advice on your specific situation, and he or she will consul you on the method of reducing or eliminating the debt. 

For example, if you purchase a vehicle together, and sign both names on the financing paperwork, and that debt is sold to a third party creditor, they will go after both parties on the original document.  The divorce decree will not protect you from the collection.  It is important then to not accrue any additional debt, either joint or separate.  Again, it is important to think about the future of your assets and your finances.  Hiring the right attorney to help with divorce proceedings will ensure both your present and your future are well cared for. 

  1. Forget about taxes

Couples, especially couples with children, forget about the various tax implications that accompany alimony and child support payments.  The first thing to remember is the change in filing status.  When you divorce, the tax returns you file the following April 15th reflect your marital status at the end of the year.  If you were divorced by December 31st, then you should file a single return, and not depend on a spouse to file a joint return. 

It is important to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney who can help define the types of support needed during the divorce proceeding, and explain the tax implications of each choice.  Many couples assume they will be able to both claim dependents on returns, but they are mistaken.  With the help of a trained divorce lawyer, the pros and cons of being able to claim a dependent on your tax form can be explained.  Many couples split the tax benefit, but it is important to discus with an attorney what situation would be best for you and your family.



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