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6 Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce

David Scott, P.A. Aug. 20, 2022

In modern society, divorce is a regretfully common occurrence. No one ever believes that it’s going to happen to them, but sometimes it’s just the best way out of a bad situation. And if it you find yourself needing to seek a divorce, you’re going to want to do whatever you can to make the process go as smoothly as possible while still protecting yourself.

Unfortunately, there are so many complicated and confusing emotional involved when divorcing your partner that it’s all too easy to make a critical mistake. To avoid doing this, you have to understand some of the most common things that people tend to do wrong.

1. Failing to Communicate. In the state of Florida, the dissolution of marriage grounds may be granted if: (a) the marriage is irretrievably broken or based on the (b) mental incapacity of one of the parties.

Both of these situations can make it difficult to effectively communicate with the other person, but attempting to talk things through can save you substantial time and money in the long-run. Put aside your anger and any ill feelings and make an effort to compromise.

2. Refusing Mediation. While mediation does not help in all cases, it can be useful if both spouses are able to work together to reach a fair settlement. Before going to mediation, you will want to determine if you agree on some very important issues, including alimony, property division, child custody, and child support.

While meditation can sometimes provide a peaceful resolution, it’s important to note that a mediator cannot provide legal advice. Because of this, it may be worthwhile to seek out a knowledgeable Florida divorce attorney even if you opt for mediation.

3. Making the Kids Take Sides. Divorce is not only a difficult situation for you and your spouse, but also for any shared children. When involved in a messy divorce, it can be tempting to put your children in the middle, but this is a huge mistake. You should never attempt to get your kids to take sides or punish your soon-to-be ex by using your kids as pawns. Try your best to keep things civil and reach a resolution that best benefits the welfare of the children.

4. Being Financially Unprepared. Divorce comes with many financial changes that can result in money woes in the long-run. Two incomes suddenly turn into one, and you must stretch your single income to cover all bills and other financial responsibilities.

If possible, prepare for these financial changes early in the divorce by making changes in the way that you spend money. Your goal should be to try to save some money aside to ease the transition.

5. Picking the Wrong Attorney. Choosing the right divorce attorney can save you a significant amount of stress. The right family lawyer will have experience, extensive knowledge of family and divorce law, organization skills, availability, and the ability to explain things in a clear and concise manner. If your divorce involves domestic violence, business issues, medical problems, or other specific sub-specialties, it’s vital to find an attorney who is an expert in the area.

6. Ignoring Your Taxes. When going through a divorce, most people forget about the tax ramifications associated with certain financial decisions. You will want to take into account whether you will file a joint or separate return for the tax year in which your divorce finalized, which spouse will claim the children as dependents, how child support and alimony will affect your taxes, and other important financial situations that can alter your tax debts.

Divorce takes a toll on everyone involved, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience if you go into it with your eyes wide open and an understanding of the most common mistakes people make and how to avoid them.