Going through the legal process of getting a divorce is a very difficult time. All sorts of emotions are felt: stress, humility, anger, sadness, and many others. However, even under these circumstances, it is important to realize what not to do.
Here are the top five mistakes people make while getting a divorce:
1. Not filing with the court.
Many people believe they can amicably split with their spouse; that they can figure it out on their own. But just as taking the legal step to become married is important, it is also important to be sure the legal rights and remedies of a divorce are afforded to you through the legal process.
Filing with court ensures a judge will review your case and they will determine who may owe certain amounts of money to another. These amounts may, in fact, be quite significant (see #2 and #4).
2. Not looking at the big picture.
You may believe that you and your spouse do not have many assets between the two of you; that you have “just” a couple thousand in a bank account, and maybe you have a home that you still pay a mortgage on. But it is probable that you both do not see the bigger financial picture.
If you have been working for any significant amount of time, you probably have a pension or 401k plan. That plan most likely has more than “just” a few thousand dollars in it.
Or, maybe your spouse drives a 2012 Cadillac and you drive a 2003 Honda Civic. Even if you believe you should just split the cars, there are sometimes significant amounts of money that you could be giving up.
3. Listening to your friends.
Friends are some of the best parts of life. They laugh with you, cry with you, and are there for you when you need it. Yet, most friends are not lawyers. And even if your friend is a lawyer, they probably have a biased perception of your marriage (albeit probably warranted).
While you should listen to friends about their advice, you should most likely not listen to their legal advice. Divorce is almost always a complicated situation wherein your lawyer is the best one to give you legal advice. Your lawyer will know the laws, know the possible outcomes, and be able to best advise you on steps that should be taken.
4. Settling, just to be done with it all.
Sometimes people come to a lawyer and say they just want it done as quickly as possible; that they will settle for whatever, as long as it is over with. This mentality is not in their best interest. A divorce proceeding takes at least three months, by law. These (at least) three months can be confusing and emotionally overwhelming.
But the bigger picture must be kept in mind. There is quite possibly a lot of money at stake (see #2). Settling may make you feel better for the next day, week, or month. But settling quickly will most likely make you feel worse for a much longer time.
5. Calling your attorney all the time.
Of course you should call your attorney with questions. Of course your attorney should answer your questions as soon as practicable. However, every phone conversation and every question take time to answer, and you will be charged for this time. That is the nature of the business.
In order to lessen what you will be charged, you shouldn’t call every time you think of a question. Rather, you should wait until you have a few questions and write them down. Sometimes you can answer your own question or sometimes the answers to your questions overlap so that asking all at once is quite beneficial to you and your attorney.
In conclusion, when going through a divorce, there is much to think about. Having an experienced Colorado family law attorney on your side is important. They can protect your assets, protect your rights, and if necessary, litigate for what you deserve. Contact Peter Loyd Weber & Associates – we are here to help you.