Going through the divorce process can be emotionally draining even in the best circumstances when both spouses agree divorce is in the best interests of their family. There is almost always a grieving process, especially when the spouses are angry at each other, or one spouse wants a divorce and the other does not.
Although each case is unique, there are some common divorce mistakes. If these mistakes can be avoided, the animosity associated with divorce may be lessened and the divorcing couple may be able to come up with their own settlement agreement.
1) The most common mistake is filing the divorce petition prematurely. A spouse may think that if the petition is filed, the court will then make all the decisions and the divorce will be over sooner.
It is often unwise to file with the court until both spouses understand how the process works and what, if any, contested issues there will be. They need to understand there are many components to the divorce process. There is the emotional component, the financial component, and if they are parents, how to share responsibilities for, and time with, their children.
Both spouses need to understand their rights and responsibilities concerning each one of those separate pieces. They need to know what the marital estate consists of as well as whether a non-marital estate exists.
2) The spouses take a firm stance on an issue. This may involve child related issues. One parent may firmly fight for sole decision making and want the children all of the time with only limited time with the other parent. This is often not in the best interest of the children.
One party may become fixated on staying in the family home. Both parties need to learn to compromise and not expect the court to make decisions for them. Becoming fixated on one piece ignores the bigger picture and can turn what could be resolved by a common-sense agreement into a costly fight.
3) The parties fail to explore divorce process options. Instead of exploring options, the couple runs straight to traditional litigation. They expect the court to make decisions for them. They fail to understand that litigation is an expensive and time-consuming adversarial process that generally ends with both parties feeling unhappy and maybe even angry with the result.
The couple should take time to explore how Mediation, or Collaborative Divorce, can help them to resolve their issues themselves and prepare their own settlement agreement on their own terms without court intervention in a manner that sets them up to be better able to navigate the ongoing relationship that they have if they have children together.
For more information on how to avoid these common divorce mistakes, and for answers to any of your questions concerning your divorce, contact us at Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions.