There are plenty of self-help books, blogs, articles, seminars, webinars and other information out there on getting divorced. How to do it, when to do it, how to plan for it, how to plan your post-divorce life – all of these things are important considerations, but equally important is what not to do during the divorce process. Here are few common mistakes people make during divorce and how to avoid them.
1. They listen to the wrong people.
When you get divorced, everyone will have an opinion about what you should do and what “works” and what doesn’t. Be highly selective about what advice you take to heart, however. Every family law case is different, so even if your best friend’s or cousin’s divorce went one way, yours will likely proceed differently.
It’s often a good idea to enlist a team of experts, if you’re able, to help you through this time. That would include your lawyer, a financial planner or CPA (or both!), and a family therapist. Additionally, surround yourself with a positive support network of friends or family who will help you move forward, not backward.
2. They overshare about the process, especially on social media.
Sharing big events on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like is fairly common in today’s society. However, divorce probably isn’t one of those events you’d like to brag about. Even still, it can be tempting to let off some steam by dashing off a quick Tweet or Facebook post lambasting your soon-to-be ex.
Resist the urge to do so.Social media posts and pictures are discoverable evidence in divorce cases, which means they can and often will be taken into account during divorce. If you need to vent, call up a good friend or your therapist to discuss your frustration offline.
3. They have unrealistic expectations.
Many people go into the divorce process hoping to “win” it. However, that attitude rarely works, as Kentucky’s divorce laws are designed to ensure both parties receive a fair portion of the life you’ve built together up until now. That means you’re unlikely to get:
- Full custody with no visitation for the other parent (unless there is documented evidence of abuse or neglect)
- All of the marital assets and none of the debts
- Unlimited alimony
Your lawyer can help you set realistic expectations when it comes to your case, and will help you find areas of common ground when possible. Their experience can help you put things into perspective and help you determine what’s in the art of the possible given your goals and the law.
4. They don't listen to their attorney or tell them the whole story.
Your attorney is your advocate throughout this process. It is their job to make sure that you come away with a fair settlement that puts you and your family on a stable path for moving past this episode of your life.
In order to help them do their job effectively, they need to know all the facts and what your true goals are. That way they can work towards them within the parameters of the law.
Going through divorce is an emotional process, even if the decision was mutual. It can feel awkward to share personal details with a relative stranger. That’s ok, they are used to it, and good attorneys do not pass judgment on their clients. They are here to help you put the best foot forward on the path to a brighter future.