Four divorce proceeding mistakes to avoid
Getting divorced can be a very difficult time. Many people desire an amicable divorce and seek out an attorney who will work with them to achieve this goal. These parties sincerely want the proceedings to go smoothly so they can minimize the emotional and financial costs. Despite this desire, they often fail to recognize how taking certain actions may impede the settlement process or result in costly and lengthy proceedings. To increase the chances of a reasonable settlement that can truly be labeled as an “amicable” divorce, you will want to avoid the following common mistakes:
During a divorce, parties will need to compromise with each other. It is rare for both parties in a divorce to completely agree on everything; getting to a resolution requires give and take. Working with an experienced and skilled attorney who can identify creative settlement options can make it easier to reach compromises.
Many compromises are made with a focus on common, not competing, interests. Even though a compromise may seem unfair, it is important to consider it in the context of a broader picture, such as a cost-benefit analysis, non-financial benefits like good will, or something that creates an opportunity not otherwise available. Taking this approach to compromises allows parties to achieve their objective of having an amicable divorce, which can lead to long-term satisfaction, despite their initial feeling that the compromise was unfair.
Sharing details online
While it might be tempting to share the details of your divorce or blast your spouse on social media, you should avoid doing so. The conduct could be considered harassment and create a basis for a harassment restraining order. Additionally, this conduct diminishes the level of trust between parties and can create significant emotional barriers to moving forward in a productive manner by ending settlement negotiations and inviting intense and costly litigation. Further, information posted online can be seen by current and future employers, children, grandchildren, and other third parties. In short, do not post anything about your divorce on social media.
Attempting to hide money
Part of any divorce involves dividing up assets. Some people feel that hiding money will work out in their favor, but this is one of the most common divorce settlement mistakes, and it can also be one of the costliest. Attempts to hide money from your spouse during a divorce will likely be uncovered. Further, in Minnesota, hidden assets can become the focus of post-divorce litigation that is extremely costly. The bad actor risks being ordered to pay for the attorney fees and court costs incurred by their former spouse for having to return to court to address the undisclosed assets.
Dating during the divorce process
Some people do not wait until their divorce gets finalized to start dating. If you decide to date while going through a divorce, it is important to understand that it can complicate the process. If both parties have not emotionally accepted their marriage is over, or if one spouse is spending marital assets or income on the new significant other, the new relationship may create barriers to reaching a settlement or trigger a demand to trace the expenses, which increases the cost of the divorce.
Dating before the divorce is final might also impact the custody and parenting time determination. Minnesota law requires judges to consider the stability that each parent’s proposed custody and parenting time proposal provides their children. It can take a long time for children to process their parents’ divorce. Introducing a new partner while children are still adapting to new schedules and living in two homes can add to their stress and is not in their best interests.
If you want your divorce process to go smoothly, it is wise to avoid these four mistakes. To help ensure you avoid making these and other mistakes during your divorce proceedings, consider hiring an experienced attorney. A good divorce attorney will help walk you through how you should handle these difficult situations with a focus on what is ultimately most beneficial to you and your children.