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Top 15 Divorce Mistakes

  • Having unrealistic expectations. The combined income that supported one household now must support two households. It is not uncommon for finances to be tight for a period of time.

  • Failing to untangle all joint finances. Separating all assets and debts is a difficult task, but the consequences of relying on your to pay joint debt post divorce may seriously jeopardize your credit score if payments are not timely made.

  • Relying on advice from friends and family. An experienced family law attorney, not friends or family, is the best source for information about how the courts generally decide matters in divorce cases.

  • Not communicating with your attorney. It is extremely important to give your attorney all of the information concerning your case, not just information you think the attorney wants to hear.

  • Getting into an endless battle. It is better to be reasonable throughout the divorce process and fight only necessary issues that need to be fought.

  • Insisting on keeping the family home. It may not be realistic to keep the family home if you cannot afford the payments associated with the house.

  • Forgetting to change beneficiaries. Once the divorce is final, it's very important to change beneficiaries on life insurance policies, bank, investment and retirement accounts following a divorce so your former spouse doesn't get the asset if you were to die.

  • Discussing money matters, especially child support, with children. It is important to keep discussions concerning finances between the parents. It is not appropriate to question children as to how child support is being spent by the parent receiving the support or complain to them about support not being timely paid.

  • Failing to develop a specific parenting time plan. Parents are encouraged to be flexible with each other concerning parenting time. However, if disagreements arise, a specific parenting time plan helps resolve the matter.

  • Putting a child in the "parent" role. It is very important to let kids be kids and to not involve them in the details and frustrations of your divorce.

  • Neglecting to file modifications with the court. When parents reach agreements between themselves after the divorce is final regarding support and parenting time, it is important to file those agreements with the court. Otherwise, these new agreements will not be enforceable.

  • Making a child feel one parent is the "good" parent and the other the "bad" parent. Bad mouthing the other parent is harmful to children. Remember, the children love both of you and are entitled to have a good relationship with both of you.

  • Dating too soon after a divorce. Children need time to adjust to a divorce, too. They need time to get used to having two homes and to being with one parent at a time. It's very important not to introduce another adult into their lives too soon after the divorce.

  • Forgetting to keep records of support payments made. It is important to keep records, such as canceled checks, of support payments made in the event questions arise concerning the payment history.

  • Hiring an attorney who isn't a good fit for you personally. Going through a divorce is an emotionally and financially difficult time. You need to have an attorney who is a good fit for you personally.