Unhappy couple having problemsDivorce is like back surgery, or the removal of a tumor, and a long list of other incredibly painful and complicated procedures. It is not fun, it is going to cost time and money, and if unsuccessful can leave one in an unfortunate predicament with limited options.

Let’s face it, divorce is a messy, emotional roller coaster that all-too- commonly involves rash decisions with long-term consequences. However, if you stop and follow the seven steps below you may avoid the most common mistakes made by people going through a divorce.

1. Limited Understanding of Finances

The number one factor in divorce is a limited understanding of family finances and poor planning. Sometimes a spouse will acquire a pile of debt without the other’s knowledge, or perhaps amass more assets than what is realistically maintainable. Either way, the already trying process will drag on if one spouse is not in the loop concerning family spending. If you are being kept in the dark or are not working as a financial team with your spouse, pull out the file drawers, call the banks, and get on the same page with one another.

2. Not Having the Money to File

The second divorce misstep is not having enough money to file for papers and see through the process to its natural end. If one has been financially dependent on their spouse, he or she can request what is called, “temporary maintenance,” in order to cover personal expenses until the divorce is finalized. However having resources for initial payments and your day-to- day before receiving that maintenance is still a necessity, including fees for hiring a lawyer.

3. Failing to Hire an Attorney

The third ‘no-no’ of divorce: not hiring an attorney. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you meet with your spouse to discuss settlement options. You may be unfairly coerced into settling for less money than you deserve. And once you’ve agreed on a settlement it may be hard to negotiate later. As a note: It’s more than fine to settle privately on pickup times for your children and the like, but if your spouse attempts to go over divorce case details, you should probably consult your attorney.

4. Reacting Solely Based on Emotion

Another commonly made mistake: reacting solely based on emotion. Many people going through a divorce may settle as quickly as possible because they’re embarrassed or just want to move on. Sometimes this leads to rash decisions and getting receiving less than deserved in the settlement. Conversely, others will drag out divorce proceedings because they are hurt and want revenge on their spouse. In this situation both parties just end up getting hurt, and a lot of money is wasted dragging the case out.

5. Mistaking the Law for What Seems Fair

Just because you think you deserve 50% of your spouse’s earnings and the house, doesn’t mean the court will agree. Don’t expect half of everything just because you feel wronged. For example most people think if one person was unfaithful during the relationship, that entitles them to more compensation, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, in most cases such immorality is not taken into account when deciding a settlement amount.

6. Taking Your Spouce’s Reaction to the Legal Procedures Personally

It is fairly common that once someone accepts that their marriage is become irredeemable, he or she will approach all divorce proceedings with distance, cold and calculated. Understandably, this new and alien behavior can leave the other spouse wounded with a head full of doubt, along with feeling betrayed and unappreciated. What is worse is that now the hurting spouse is operating from a position of vulnerability, where they may easily be taken advantage of. Some will also experience guilt in these situations, blaming entirely themselves for the divorce and concluding that they deserve a lesser settlement than they are due.

7. Don’t Settle Too Soon!

Our last bit of advice: do not settle for too little, too soon! Why take less than that to which you are rightfully entitled? Many spouses have feelings of guilt in accepting their settlement after a divorce proceeding, while others accept less than they should because they just want to move on with their lives. Some even give up millions for these reasons, or due to threats and other forms of harassment. Be strong, but be safe. Be smart and vigilant. Preparation and perseverance is key.

Hiring a lawyer can help you avoid all these pitfalls. Tom Pyles has more than 25 years of experience handling divorce cases. He can help you navigate this difficult situation and get a fair settlement for your divorce. Fill out the form to the right and someone from the office will get back to you as soon as possible.

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