With so much at stake in divorce, tensions can ride high and errors can be easy to make. Are you about to make a misstep? Here are our top 5 divorce mistakes to avoid:
Being unwilling to negotiate: Nothing spells anger, unneeded financial expense and anxiety more than someone who is not willing to sit down and at least attempt to work out an agreement with their soon-to-be former spouse through negotiation. The great majority of divorces settle in New Jersey, so, if you know that there is a chance that you are heading towards settlement, why not approach your divorce with that in mind, sooner rather than later? Courts strongly favor settlements and encourage couples to come up with agreements that they can live with. Besides, why have a stranger decide how to end your marriage, when you and your spouse are able to do so?
Letting emotion rule your case: You’re angry or hurt. That is understandable and certainly expected. But, try your best to leave that emotion out of the case. New Jersey is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that, unless there are really exceptional circumstances, one spouse does not receive more money or property in the divorce because the other spouse acted badly. So, if you understand that the court will look at your marriage as if it was a business and will divide property and debt fairly, you will see that carrying that anger into your case will not help you going forward.
Being uneducated about your rights or responsibilities: Talk to an experienced attorneys to at least have your case evaluated. Learn if and how much alimony you may be entitled to. Figure out how much, if any child support you can count on. Get educated regarding your rights to parenting time with and custody of your children. If you have at least a basic understanding of these issues, it will help you feel empowered and less overwhelmed during your divorce matter.
Emptying bank accounts or making other rash decisions: Simply put, do not start taking large sums of money out of marital bank accounts, don’t remove your spouse from your medical insurance, don’t put your marital house up for sale, unless your counsel advises you otherwise. A judge would not look kindly on these types of impulsive decisions, especially if your motive is to hide or keep money or property from your spouse. Keep everything status quo unless and until you receive different advice from a knowledgeable family attorney.
Hiring the first lawyer who comes your way: Your cousin may be a successful real estate attorney in New Jersey who has practiced for twenty years. However, that does not mean that he is experienced in family law, the family courts or the procedures in the family courts in New Jersey. Family law is a very specialized area of the law and you need someone who knows the law, the judges and how to handle your very specialized and very personal case.
If you are contemplating divorce or if you are already going through a divorce, reach out and speak with a qualified, experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney for advice on how to navigate this bumpy road in your life. To schedule an initial confidential consultation with one of our skilled family law attorneys, please contact us to set up you meeting.