Divorce can be a traumatic time in people’s lives. When couples wed, they often assume their marriage will be the one that lasts, the relationship that stands the test of time. However, almost half of all new married couples will eventually separate, and in many cases, one of the two partners will not see it coming. Because people are so unprepared to face divorce, it can cause them to react negatively, impulsively, and against their own interests. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes individuals make when going through a divorce.
Obsessing Over the Divorce
During a divorce, people shouldn’t be spending most of their time thinking about their spouse. It’s difficult to avoid contemplating the impending divorce, but spending hour after hour dwelling on the mistakes of the past or the faults of your partner is not healthy. Fixation is particularly dangerous if it gets in the way of other daily activities, such as working, sleeping, and eating. Not taking care of themselves often makes people more irritable and prone to mood swings, which won’t help you during the process.
While it may feel great to tell others how horrible your spouse is, this isn’t the best idea. Not only does it allow you to obsess about the problem, but it reflects poorly on you. Even if your spouse was at fault in the divorce, you could be putting your kids in the awkward position of listening to you bad mouth their other parent. The divorce is hard on you, but it is already harder on your children. Don’t further traumatize them if you do not have to. Even if you and your spouse aren’t parents, the court will not look on you favorably if your spouse seeks alimony and his or her lawyer uses your own words against you.
Wanting to Win
Divorce isn’t about winning. It’s about untangling two lives that no longer fit together. The more you care about winning, the longer the process will take, and the more expensive the whole ordeal will be. Property division, for example, involves splitting your shared assets down the middle. There is no “winning” with equitable division. You also don’t win by trying to win sole custody of the children just to lord it over your spouse. Remember, your children’s well-being is what matters in custody proceedings. If you stubbornly insist on having sole custody out of spite, the judge may decide your kids are safer with your spouse, as you will seem to be incapable of reason and compromise.
Hiring the Wrong Attorney
You don’t want to hire the most vicious and hard-hitting lawyer in town if he or she is a criminal defense attorney. While criminal defense does require a certain edge, lawyers who specialize in that type of law typically don’t also dip into family court. The more specialized your attorney is, the more you know they’re solely focused on your type of case. An excellent divorce lawyer only focuses on divorce cases and other related family law proceedings. You also may not need a fierce lawyer if your attorney and your spouse’s attorney are good at compromising. Compromise is often faster and less expensive for both parties.
Treating the Children Unfairly
While you may feel like the divorce mostly concerns you and your spouse, if you have children, the divorce also concerns them. The end of a marriage can be terrifying for kids, particularly if they’re younger and don’t understand what’s happening. Younger children are likely to blame themselves for the divorce, which is why you and your partner need to put aside any differences and unite in your effort to assure your kids of their place in the world. Explain to them the divorce is not their fault and that you don’t love them any less. If possible, outline how your custody arrangement will work in the future so they have an idea of what their lives will soon be like.
Children are also not pawns. Some parents make the mistake of attempting to pit their kids against their spouse, but this could backfire completely. Children might resent your attempts to turn them against their other parent. Also, the court could learn about your treatment of the kids and decide to favor your spouse in any child-custody proceedings.
If you’re ready to begin your divorce, contact us at (603) 686-7229 or fill out our online form to set up a preliminary case review. Our Manchester divorce attorneys have many years of experience negotiating with separating couples. Let us help you through this ordeal.