We all make mistakes. Many occur during stressful times. As a Crystal Lake divorce lawyer, I know that there are few more stressful times in a person’s life than during a divorce. Here are some common divorce errors I have seen divorcing parents make that I want to help you avoid.
Not Staying Focused
Divorce can be one of the most emotional moments of your life. It is natural to be filled with horrible thoughts about your spouse and concerns about the future. It is best to try to minimize those thoughts at those times when you need to fully concentrate on your case. There are legal concepts to understand, finances to be evaluated and the welfare of your children to be considered. It will do no good at those times to think about what your spouse has said or done to upset you. A clear head and total concentration on the matters at hand will ensure the success of your case. Being upset is natural; being able to stay focused is critical.
Relying On Bad Advice From Others
During this process, you may confide in your family and your close friends. Others may learn about your situation and want to give you help and support. All are well meaning. The most damaging are those who want to tell you about someone they heard about who is in a “similar” situation. Most often, their stories do not have a happy ending making you unsur
e and upset. These stories are most often based on situations that are different than your situation. They are often in different states where the laws or procedures may be different. More often than not, they are not worth the time or the worry. Ask your attorney if one of these stories bothers you and let him or her put your mind at ease.
Using The Children As Bargaining Chips
It goes without saying that the children of divorcing parents need to be protected. Even the youngest can see, hear or sense that something very unpleasant is happening with their mother and father. The children should be kept above the fray at all costs, though it doesn’t always happen that way. Children hear discussions or arguments between the parties about divorce issues. Children are often used, either subtly or on purpose, to convey messages from one parent to the other. There are times when a parent who has not been attentive to the children suddenly becomes much more concerned and involved in an attempt to look better to the judge or jury. Placing the children in the middle of your situation can be harmful to your case and, more importantly, harmful to your children.
Trying to Win Every Point
Many issues arise in divorce proceedings. Couples argue and disagree over monumental items as well as matters that some would see as unimportant or petty. Attorneys often see that one party or the other needs to “win” any and all of these conflicts. It is a natural reaction but one that may not be good for your case. The need to always be the victor maybe used in court to portray you in a bad light. Successful negotiations toward a resolution of your case may be more difficult if you are unwilling to budge, even a little. Courts often require a good faith effort at compromise. Your attorney will help you determine what is important and what areas are good for compromise without hurting your case. Although sometimes difficult, attempt to place all aspects of your case in their proper perspective.
Failure to Play It Smart
Little things can turn into big things. An innocent lunch with a friend of the opposite sex may give your spouse the impression that there is a romantic interest in your life. This is often used as evidence to give the judge or jury the impression that you are having an extra-marital affair. The time when the divorce is pending is not the time to buy that new camera or piece of jewelry that you have been craving. Out of the ordinary expenditures may give the wrong appearance at this critical stage. When talking to your spouse, watch what you say and how you say it. Notes can be taken that will bring your words and your tone back to haunt you in court.
Forgetting About Social Media
Your emails, Facebook posts and tweets are all a reflection of your personality. Don’t forget that your spouse and his or her attorney may be looking for any evidence against you that they can find. Any Twitter dispute that you are having may be used to indicate that you have a nasty streak. An Instagram photo that shows you dancing at a party while your spouse is at your child’s PTA meeting may have a negative impact on your case. The cellphone can be used to capture so much of your life that you cannot be too careful about where you go and what you do.
If you can avoid these mistakes, you have a much better chance of reducing the tension that is built into your case. You and your spouse are more likely to reach a fair settlement and your children will be spared lasting harm.
If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable Crystal Lake divorce lawyer, contact the Stetler Law Group at (815) 529-4554.