Ask an Attorney: What Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce

Divorce Attorney

It's easy to make mistakes during the divorce process. However, knowing some of the biggest mistakes to avoid may help you steer clear of them. Speak to your divorce attorney in Houston, TX about the mistakes you should always avoid if you're going through a divorce. Several of these mistakes are also discussed below.

7 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce

1. Dragging Out Proceedings

Emotions are high during a divorce, and that's normal. Maybe your ex hurt you, and you'd like to get revenge on them by dragging out proceedings for as long as you can. Unfortunately, this will usually just end up hurting you as well as them. Any time you act out of anger or guilt, you may end up creating a situation that could damage your relationship in the long run. If you share children, it's especially vital to strive for an amicable relationship.

Try to take a step back and calm yourself down, even if it's difficult. If you're having trouble stopping yourself from acting out of guilt or anger, then consider spending time with your loved ones to help ground yourself and come through your difficult emotions. However, remember not to share the details of your divorce with your friends and family. Speaking to a therapist may also help you deal with your feelings.

2. Representing Yourself

You should always work with an experienced divorce attorney if you're going through a divorce. Trying to represent yourself may lead to you losing out on assets that are important to you or will be helpful for you in the future. It's especially important to have representation if your former spouse is working with a divorce attorney. You may end up losing out on a lot if your former spouse has representation but you don't.

Get in touch with a divorce attorney who'll evaluate your case. Take their advice going forward, as they understand divorce proceedings and have helped numerous clients through divorces.

3. Not Dealing With Your Finances

One of the first things you should do when seeking a divorce is break financial ties with your partner. If you're still financially linked, it can make the divorce proceedings considerably harder. Speak to your attorney about applying for a temporary order regarding your finances, so your financial ties with your former partner will officially be cut.

Don't neglect to start financial planning once your ties are cut. Evaluate your future and consider the expenses for your new life going forward. You'll also have to take any obligations, such as alimony or child support, into account. It would be a good idea to seek help from a financial professional who may be able to help you plan out your finances before you start your new life.

4. Signing the First Agreement

It may be tempting to sign the first divorce agreement that comes your way so you can try to get this over with as quickly as you can. However, you should always take the time to go over every agreement to see how it may benefit you and negatively affect you now and in the future. Don't be afraid to renegotiate to try to win more of what you will want and need.

However, be aware that you may have to compromise on some of the things that you want, too. Always speak to your attorney and talk through your options before you sign a divorce agreement. Negotiations may be time-consuming, but they're usually worth the added time and effort.

5. Not Changing Your Will

It's easy to overlook your will when going through a divorce, but ensure you make changes to it to reflect your new situation. You may need to revise your estate plan, particularly if you intend to get married again in the future. Make a note to change your will once your divorce has settled.

6. Failing to Consider Taxes

You need to take tax consequences into account when dividing assets such as pension plans or retirement accounts. Your property division may also be devalued if you fail to take taxes into account when dividing up your assets.

7. Making Side Agreements

If you and your spouse are making any agreements during your divorce, then it should be with your attorneys present or at least informed. Don't agree to anything that isn't explicitly stated in your divorce settlement agreement. Having every arrangement in your settlement agreement will protect both of you as you go through this divorce.

Making mistakes can complicate and drag out the divorce process, and it can have emotional and financial repercussions on you. Always try to act rationally even when emotions are high, and consult your attorney if you're ever unsure of something during the divorce proceedings.

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