Just like a marriage is a serious legal agreement, a divorce is a serious legal proceeding. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls which a person might stumble into during this life-altering process. Mistakes made throughout your divorce could have everlasting consequences.
Today, your trusted Brownsville family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Phillippe And Associates will list 13 of the most common sorts of mistakes spouses make in their divorce proceedings. To help ensure that your divorce goes smoothly and your rights are protected, you may wish to consult with a Brownsville family law attorney.
Mistakes You Need to Avoid During a Divorce
1. Getting a Divorce Without Legal Advice
Generally speaking, you should only get a divorce without the help of an attorney if you have nothing to lose. DIY divorces may be in vogue, but this option opens you up to all kinds of issues that won’t be fixable once the divorce is completed.
You may not need to hire a family law attorney for the entirety of your divorce, but you should consider consulting a lawyer to ensure that you don’t unknowingly make any costly mistakes.
2. Removing Your Spouse From Your Health Insurance
Canceling your spouse’s health coverage can be a major mistake, especially if they have a medical condition that requires regular care. Not only is this arguably cruel, but it can also lead to considerable expenses in the future. You may be held liable to pay for your spouse’s medical care out-of-pocket.
3. Failing to Make an Inventory of Possessions
Early in your divorce proceedings, take an inventory of your household items. If your spouse attempts to hide or destroy assets, you will need proof that they were in your possession.
4. Moving Your Children Out Without Notifying Your Spouse
Essentially, involving your children directly in your divorce is a bad idea. This includes telling them the details of the divorce as well as insults about your spouse. Unless there is documentation showing that your spouse physically abused your children, moving away with them can result in you losing custody in the future.
5. Failing to Follow Court Orders
Stay up to date with all court orders related to your divorce and consult an attorney if any orders are unclear. Failing to follow court orders could result in fines, jail time, contempt of court, or payment of your spouse’s attorney fees.
Plus, you don’t want to anger the judge on your case.
6. Associating With Illicit Activities
Even if your spouse never expressed concerns in the past, associating with illicit activities of any kind could threaten your rights to custody. This includes using illegal drugs or associating with people who use illegal drugs.
7. Fighting Over Small Personal Property
Putting considerable time and funds into fighting with your spouse over cheap personal property simply doesn’t make sense. If you find yourself fighting with your spouse over every little item, consider speaking with a therapist or divorce coach about methods for compromise.
8. Sending Nasty Messages
In divorce proceedings, spouses often feel hurt and justified about lashing out. However, any messages, calls, or social media posts you make about your spouse could be used as evidence in your divorce proceedings.
It may be tempting to vent online, but consider how your posts will read in a courtroom.
9. Failing to Keep All Messages From Your Spouse
Just like your messages can be used against you, any threatening or nasty messages your spouse sends to you could be used as evidence in court. Make sure that your family law attorney is aware of any threats or intimidation.
10. Forgetting Taxes
Failing to consider the tax implications of your divorce could cause you to receive less money than you expected. Prior to signing your divorce settlement, consult with an accountant or a divorce financial planner.
It’s also worth remembering that a single-parent household is taxed differently than a two-parent household.
11. Hiding Money
It might be tempting to hide assets from your spouse, but the truth is that most people get caught. If you are caught, you will likely end up paying considerably more than if you had never tried to hide the assets in the first place.
12. Lying to Your Attorney
Attorney-client privilege isn’t just something that actors say on television, and your lawyer will need a full picture of your circumstances in order to best represent you. You will need to share everything about your case with your attorney, including illicit activity and drug use, in order to keep yourself protected.
13. Assuming a Family Law Attorney Can Take Care of Everything
It’s true that a family law attorney can help you protect your rights and your property, but no lawyer is going to move your property, find you a new place to live, or have the difficult conversations with your family that you want to avoid. Remember that you will need to do your part to get your lawyer the information they need as well.