A man holding crumped papers to his head as he looks down in frustration.

Common Divorce Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid Decisions When Feeling Emotional

The stress of going through a divorce can be great, but what can make things more difficult is letting the stress overcome you to the point where your decision-making process is entirely based on emotion. When you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by your emotions and forget to slow down and think through important decisions, you could make a significant mistake that could cost you later on both in divorce and after everything is complete.

Unfortunately, several mistakes people make in divorce have become too common. However, reading about the mistakes below can help you avoid making similar decisions.

An Attitude of Vengeance

While it’s natural to feel upset toward your spouse as your relationship with each other comes to an end, you should not let those negative feelings overcome you. Some people have become so upset with their spouse and their divorce that they use this opportunity to enact vengeance on their spouse throughout the process.

Revenge in a divorce can come in several forms, including refusing to negotiate a settlement, insisting on going to court, and dragging out every court appearance as long as possible. The issue with this attitude, however, is that this act of vengeance, while seemingly helpful to you in the moment, can actually cost you a great deal in your divorce. Dragging out the process can cost you both time and money, and the courts also do not look favorably on individuals who use their resources to get back at a spouse.

Failing to Plan for Financial Changes

While many areas of life will change after divorce, perhaps the area that will feel the most impact is your financial situation. While there are more obvious changes such as the loss of your spouse’s income and the need to adjust your expenses and savings, there are other things that must occur that you may not be aware of.

For example, how much you pay in income tax after divorce may look different than when you were married. This is because you cannot file jointly with your spouse after divorce and must file as a single individual, which completely changes your tax bracket and, therefore, how much you may be refunded or may owe.

There are other key decisions related to your finances you should be sure to think twice about. You will, for example, want to delineate between separate property and marital property when compiling your asset disclosure, and you will want to consult with trusted financial professionals to gain the most realistic picture of your financial future you can. If you are unsure of how to proceed, speak with your attorney who can help you think of other things that may change when your divorce is finalized.

Rushing to Get the Process Over With

We understand that divorce is not an easy process to work through, and it is very normal to wish for something to be over with as quickly as possible. Taking that approach with divorce decisions, however, can be dangerous to the final outcome.

Some people choose to accept the first settlement proposal that comes their way because they just want the divorce done so they can move on. They might not realize, however, that that proposed settlement is actually very unfairly skewed to the other spouse’s advantage; once the settlement agreement has been signed by a judge, it becomes law and cannot be changed unless you go through another legal process called modification.

Be sure to slow down and think through things very carefully when working through a divorce. Consult with your divorce attorney often to be sure you are making the best possible decision you can.

Not Working with an Experienced Attorney for Divorce

While the idea of a “DIY” divorce may seem like it would save you money, remember that you may not be a legal expert. Your attempt to save money could backfire and ultimately cost you more than you realize. Instead, you should consult with a trusted attorney early on in the process to be sure you are moving forward in the right direction.


At Pacific Cascade Family Law, we can help you avoid these mistakes by helping you through each step of the divorce process. Learn more about divorce or schedule your consultation by calling us at (888) 981-9511 or by visiting our website.

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