Mistakes to Avoid While Waiting to Be Divorced

Many spouses are separated while they are waiting to file for divorce or for the legal divorce process to conclude. While physical separation can be a useful first step, spouses may make significant mistakes during this waiting period that adversely affect their interests.

Often, separated spouses may feel bitter and vengeful, influencing them to have emotional outbursts and commit acts that cause marital funds to be wasted and placing child custody at risk. Having competent legal representation can help individuals avoid these common mistakes.

Leaving Threatening Voicemails or Other Recorded Communications

Sometimes spouses may get intoxicated or may have an outburst, resulting in them leaving negative voicemails. Celebrities have made this mistake. When normal people make this mistake, they can count on the message being saved and being used later in court against the individual who made the message. If the spouse makes physical threats against the other spouse, an order of protection may be sought against the spouse, which may provide temporary protections and advantages to the purported victim. This may include requiring the other spouse to leave the marital home or to be prevented from having contact with his or her children. Anything that may negatively affect the well-being of the child may be used against the spouse. Spouses in the divorce process must act as though they are being spied on, because this may be what is occurring. This may require abstaining from social media or taking other steps to maximize privacy.

Getting Physical

Some spouses may react in an extreme manner. They may feel like they lost control or that they want to force the other spouse to remain in the relationship. The other spouse may be keeping kids from the spouse or doing other acts against the spouse that enrage him or her. The spouse may get physical with the other spouse or with the children. This will almost certainly have an adverse effect on the spouse. He or she may lose custody of the children. He or she may be required to pay the spouse’s medical bills. He or she may lose the right to occupy the home.

Drinking or Doing Drugs

Some spouses who felt they were being controlled or missing out on the single life may get a little more wild during separation. They may drink and go out. They may start consuming drugs. The other spouse has an incentive to paint the spouse in the worst light possible and will use evidence of drinking and driving, recreational drinking or drug use to show that the other spouse is not a fit spouse.

Dating during Separation

Separation and divorce can take a long time to conclude. Some spouses may get lonely and may seek companionship outside the marriage. However, choosing to date before getting divorced can negatively impact the spouse. The spouse may want to get back at the ex by dating or may try to use a new person to get over the spouse. However, a judge may have disdain for a spouse who did not wait until after the marriage ended to move into the next relationship.

Badmouthing the Spouse

If the spouses have children together, a court will likely look with disapproval upon negative statements that are made about the other spouse. The courts want to see parents working together and putting their children’s interests above their own. A factor that courts can consider when making custody decisions is whether the parent will encourage a relationship with the other spouse.

Acting Out to Cause Pain

Sometimes a spouse may simply want to lash out. He or she may want to hurt the other spouse because he or she is hurting. However, actions that are intended to hurt the other spouse often backfire and hurt the spouse who is trying to cause pain. Additionally, increasing the bitterness and negativity between the parties often increases the cost of the divorce because lawyers have to get involved, file motions and make legal arguments to the court. Collaborative processes like mediation may not be available for spouses who cannot get along, even if these processes could have provided a better alternative than litigation.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Being separated can be an emotional process. It is important during this time to seek help from professionals who can properly advise you on steps you should take and mistakes you should avoid during this process. An experienced divorce lawyer can advise you of your rights and represent your interests through each stage of the divorce process.

Provided by HG.org

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

Find a Lawyer