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Family Law Blog

10 Common Mistakes People Make in a Divorce

Published: May 26, 2017 in Divorce

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

Every divorce is unique because your and your spouse’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are entirely your own. No two people handle a divorce the exact same way or have the exact same issues to settle. However, there are many common elements to every divorce, and men and women heading into this situation often take a few missteps.

Learning about these common mistakes and how to avoid them can help you get through your divorce as unscathed as possible. To learn more about obtaining a divorce, contact a Pittsburgh divorce lawyer from Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC at (412) 471-5100.

10 Common Mistakes People Make in a Divorce

If you are planning on getting a divorce, consider these errors, how they apply to you, and how to best avoid them:

  1. Letting your emotions take over.

    People often mistakenly think a divorce is the time to get revenge. However, the divorce is a legal proceeding and you should not make decisions based on your anger, resentment, or sadness. These emotions can blind you to what is a realistic outcome. Even if you are feeling happy and free after making this decision, you should not let this influence you into giving too much away.

  2. Inappropriately using social media.

    When you are going through a divorce, it is tempting to discuss the proceedings or other aspects of your life on your social media profiles. However, this can be a bad idea. Social media content can be admitted as evidence in court. If you put up anything inappropriate, expect it to come up. For instance, pictures of hard partying could be used to sway a judge against granting you custody of your kids. Or content about expensive purchases could be used to accuse you of hiding money.

  3. Under- or over-informing your children.

    A divorce is even harder than normal when there are kids involved. You and your spouse have to decide when to tell your kids about the divorce and how many details to provide. Unfortunately, parents often make the mistake of telling their kids almost nothing or offering up too much information that damages the children’s relationships with their parents. Deciding what to tell your kids depends on their ages, level of maturity, and whether the information is necessary.

  4. Making co-parenting difficult.

    When you are angry with the other parent or eager to have nothing to do with your soon-to-be-ex, you may be against co-parenting. However, your divorce does not sever the relationship between a child and their other parent. Making shared custody difficult will only reflect poorly on you and make the situation more traumatic for your kids. When you head into a divorce with kids, you have to prepare for being a co-parent.

  5. Having unrealistic expectations.

    Once you decide to get a divorce, you may have ideas of how you think the situation is going to turn out, including how much money, property or custody time you will receive. However, without an understanding of Pennsylvania law and objective legal advice, these initial thoughts may be unrealistic. Be sure to discuss your ideal outcome with an experienced an attorney to see if it is possible or unlikely.

  6. Keeping the family home at all costs.

    Many parents enter into a divorce set on keeping the family home. However, this is sometimes a poor financial decision. Be sure to run the numbers on how much it will cost to maintain the house on one income and whether this truly fits your post-divorce budget. It can be difficult to move you and your kids during a divorce, however, it might be necessary or the best financial decision in the long run.

  7. Not planning for your social life after divorce.

    A divorce can have a number of unintended consequences, including dividing your social circles. You need to prepare to say goodbye to some long-time friends, since they may “pick” the other spouse or not feel as comfortable spending time with you once you are single and not part of a couple. While this will not be true for all of your friends, emotionally prepare for a different social life after a divorce.

  8. Not creating a support network.

    A divorce is going to be hard on you. Some days will feel relatively easy while others may be gut wrenching. You need to have people to go to on those hard days. If you do not have understanding family members or friends, consider finding a divorce support group in your community or working with a counselor.

  9. Not considering the financial outcome of the divorce.

    After a divorce, you will have to live on one income even though your expenses may not go down. The best thing you can do is work with a financial professional to prepare your post-divorce budget. If you will need a greater amount of income to support yourself and your kids, discuss seeking alimony with your attorney. Also, prepare for the tax consequences of your divorce and your likely tax bracket for future years.

  10. Trying to handle the divorce without a lawyer.

    There is a lot of self-help advice on the Internet regarding divorces. However, the truth is that unless you have a very simple situation, such as no major property or children, going through a divorce on your own is a bad idea. Separating your finances and finalizing a custody agreement quickly become complicated and having your own attorney ensures your rights and best interests are always protected and promoted. Additionally, when you work with a lawyer, you do not have to spend time and energy figuring out the Pennsylvania legal process while handling an emotionally difficult situation.

Call Our Pittsburgh Divorce Lawyers for Help Today

It is natural to wonder if you need a divorce lawyer. However, the answer is likely that you do. At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, our divorce attorneys understand the ins and outs of Pennsylvania law and can help you navigate this process while avoiding common pitfalls. Our goal is not simply to get you divorced, it is to guide you through this process with compassion and get you to a better place in the future.

For more information, contact us at (412) 471-5100.