As much as relationships are discussed in media, movies, and family conversations, no one discusses divorces in quite the same way. With the divorce rate currently sitting at 42.6% in America, we should have more of a general understanding on how the process works and why some couples choose it. However, since the topic is still seen as somewhat taboo, it’s no wonder so many people make mistakes during the process. In this article, we’ve put together a list of the seven most common legal and emotional mistakes we see individuals or couples making and how you can easily avoid them and save yourself a headache.
1. Not Considering Your Other Options
Some couples rush into the divorce process before realizing there are other options available to them. While it may be best to end some marriages in divorce, there may be other avenues you can take to either save your marriage or postpone the decision-making process. For example, some couples can sort out their problems with the help of a qualified marriage counselor, while others may find that their marriage can thrive once they begin living apart. Once you have tried these alternatives and found they didn’t work, then it may be time to start the divorce process.
2. Not Committing to Mediation First
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of divorces don’t warrant a full trial. Even with emotions running high and resentment on either or both sides, many couples can find themselves settling on amicable terms with just mediation. Once both you and your ex have a clear understanding of your intermingled finances, you can easily see down with a Santa Fe or Albuquerque divorce attorney to sort out your assets. However, if children are involved, be prepared for another professional to possibly be involved and extend the timeline of the process.
3. Underestimating the Time & Paperwork Involved
While meditation can quicken the process, couples that go to court must wait on judges’ decisions. Complicated contested divorces can occassionally go on for years. If a child custody evaluator or other professional consultant has to get involved, you can expect to see more time added to the process. Depending on the number of assets and issues, divorce can involve extensive documentation.
4. Allowing Emotions to Get in the Way
The end of a relationship, whether or not it’s a marriage, is a tricky situation full of messy emotions and pain on both sides. The divorce process demands a level head to make rational, concise decisions, but often times the anger, hurt, and sadness involved in the ending of a relationship can cloud your judgment. If you lash out or let your emotions cloud your judgment, you’re risk seeing your case negatively impacted. It is important to try to put your negative emotions about the other party aside to try and work toward a solution that is beneficial for you in the future.
5. Forgetting to Budget for Expenses
Depending on your circumstances, getting a divorce can be an expensive process filled legal bills. Without an open discussion between you and your ex regarding the costs involved, you can easily find yourself living paycheck-to-paycheck because you didn’t budget properly. Once you’ve chosen divorce and begun discussing how to split your finances, consider all the other factors, like who the kids will be staying with, who is living where, what sort of child support will be needed and whatever else if applicable to you. With this in hand, you can create a budget so you won’t get caught by any surprise expenses.
6. Not Prioritizing Support for Your Children
As a parent, your first thought in any situation is often for your children’s wellbeing. However, while the adults are getting a divorce, children are often left confused and heartbroken because their parents can be swept up in the emoiton of a divorce. Make time to have emotional check-ins and focus on your children when you have the time to do so, on a regular basis, so your children can feel support and heard through the process. It is important not to discuss the divorce any more than necessary with your children. Doing so can result in emotional damage to your children and can result in custody rulings to protect the children if you’re not careful.
7. Forgetting to Remove Your Ex from Estate & Misc. Documents
When you first got married, you probably added your soon-to-be-ex to every will, 401k, and life insurance policy. The last thing you want is for your divorce to be finalized, only for an emergency to happen and your ex to be called or granted your estate because you forgot to update some documents. If you’re overwhelmed by this process, consider sitting down with an estate attorney to discuss what you need to get started. It is important to note that once the divorce process has started, you are not permitted to remove the other party from insurance policies or the like until the process is complete.
If you are ready to pursue this process and are looking for divorce lawyers in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, consider the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer. Our team is here to offer you a compassionate helping hand through the process so you can work toward the best outcome for you, your ex, and your children. Contact our office today.