As Oklahoma City family lawyers, we handle a lot of divorce and separation cases. In this work we often see clients making mistakes that could harm their chances for getting a fair settlement or verdict in their divorce case. To help you avoid making the same mistakes, we’ve put together a short guide on what they are and how to keep yourself from committing them.
Mistake 1: Moving Too Fast
One of the biggest problems in many divorces is that one party will sign a settlement or other document before taking time to consider its ramifications. This can lead to major problems after the signing party discovers that the settlement they signed doesn’t fairly distribute the marital assets or leaves out significant issues. When you’re in the process of a divorce, make sure you take time to read every document from your spouse or their lawyer carefully, or give it to your lawyer so they can offer you an expert opinion.
Mistake 2: Not Considering Assets
Stress is hard on everyone, and trying to make important lifestyle and financial decisions under the stress of divorce inevitably leads people to make mistakes. It’s very common for people to improperly consider the value of assets when dividing them in a settlement, or to give up assets that have a lot of value. For instance, some people will take a car worth $20,000 over a savings account worth $15,000, even though the savings will gain value over time and the car will only be worth less. Consider every asset carefully before giving it up, and make sure the final split is as equitable as possible.
Mistake 3: Making it Personal
Divorce proceedings are often contentious, but they don’t have to be. If you avoid tactics like involving children or using them as pawns, or bringing up new relationships since the divorce started, you’ll have a smoother and more amicable divorce process. There is no point in trying to get “revenge” during a divorce, as it just invites your spouse to do the same and makes the whole process more emotionally damaging for both.
Mistake 4: Trying to Avoid Responsibility
Sometimes the stress of divorce, or the process of going through it, can scare people so much that they attempt to flee from their responsibilities. This can include failing to respond to document requests, not paying alimony or child support after a divorce, or failing to retain a qualified family lawyer. If you try to “escape” your divorce by ignoring it, you could end up causing yourself bigger legal problems down the line, such as wage garnishing or court orders. If you’re going through a divorce, take responsibility for your own actions and obligations.
Mistake 5: Ignoring Yourself
The last thing you want to do when going through a divorce is stop taking care of yourself. Many people stop eating well, sleeping, or exercising when going through divorce proceedings. However, expert research has shown keeping as normal a routine as possible has significant effects on your mental and physical health. This doesn’t mean you should pretend everything is perfect – it’s perfectly acceptable to vent your emotions and to “mourn” your marriage. However, you can’t let those feelings interfere with your ability to live your life.
If you’re in need of an Oklahoma City divorce lawyer, contact the firm of Bryan Stratton, Attorney at Law. As an experienced family lawyer in Oklahoma, Bryan has helped hundreds of people get through their divorces with their finances and well-being intact. Contact our firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.