Divorce is a life-changing decision that can have a significant effect on your life. Even if your divorce is amicable, mistakes happen that can impact you forever, especially when there are children involved. If your divorce is not amicable, you may face complex legal and financial issues, hurt, anger, disputes, and other issues.
The divorce process can be complicated and messy if you’re trying to do it on your own. There are forms to file, deadlines to meet, and court hearings to prepare for. You don’t want to make rash decisions, or show up with incomplete information, as this can lead to significant issues that you may or may not be able to resolve down the road.
If you’re considering divorce, you need to be aware of mistakes that can be avoided during the process. Here are five mistakes to avoid during a California divorce.
1. Rushing To Get It Over With
You may think that just getting the divorce done and over will save you time and money. But you may end up with a divorce judgment that you’ll regret later. Take your time and work out a mutually beneficial agreement. It’s critical to negotiate during the divorce process so that all parties leave the table satisfied.
Getting a divorce is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. First, you need to review the terms of the divorce and understand all the details. Once the divorce is final, there are some details you can’t ever change. If you’re not sure that you understand all the details, Talk to your attorney. Going a divorce alone simply isn’t a viable option, especially in California, where property and alimony are such crucial factors.
2. Not Identifying Separate Property
California is a community property state. This means that even though the assets you and your spouse acquired during your marriage are subject to being distributed between the two of you, assets you acquired before the marriage are not. If you don’t identify assets you had before your marriage, they may be distributed along with the rest of the property.
Note: In some circumstances, there are assets acquired during your marriage that qualify as separate property. In the same vein, there are assets owned before the marriage that become community assets. For example, retirement accounts and privately held businesses may have both separate and community property components. It’s best to speak to an attorney to determine the distribution of all assets.
3. Unrealistic Expectations
Divorce is all about negotiation. This means both partners need to manage their expectations. If there is an issue you cannot agree on, you’ll end up in court. Negotiations outside of the court allow you to reach a middle ground that works for both parties. When you’re negotiating, try to be reasonable and practical with your expectations.
Remember, getting a divorce means that you’ll have less than you did during your marriage. If you expect to take all the marital assets, have no debt, and your attorney fees covered, you have unrealistic expectations. You need to decide which issues are worth the time, energy, and expense of possible litigation to adjust your expectations and save money on your divorce by avoiding court.
4. Assume Key Issues Will Resolve Themselves
A divorce is not an event to be passive about, and issues won’t resolve themselves if you don’t discuss them. It may mean difficult conversations and uncomfortable situations with your ex, but they need to happen. You need to make informed decisions because they will affect you long-term if you unknowingly give up too much in the divorce. When you delay or ignore the necessary steps to resolve issues can make your situation even hard and more stressful.
5. Posting Sensitive Information Online
You may be tempted to post about your divorce on social media. Resist posting your thoughts, feelings, and experiences about the divorce online at all costs. If you feel you can’t, you may want to not use social media until the divorce is finalized. There are things about your divorce and life that may become public record when posted on social media. Even if you think your account is secure, a private investigator may still access the information you post.
Things you post online can be distorted and be subject to scrutiny by people who don’t need to be involved. Even things that don’t seem directly related to your divorce can have a significant impact. For example, if you purchase a new TV, this information can end up as evidence and be used as proof that you have money to pay child support or even alimony.
Protect Yourself By Hiring An Attorney
No matter how amicable you think your divorce is or will be, there are still situations that could arise and cause conflict. Negotiation, separation of property, child support, and alimony all play significant parts in any divorce. Avoid costly mistakes that could have severe impacts on the rest of your life.
At Azemika & Azemika, our law firm is exclusively devoted to the field of family law. We handle divorce cases, dissolution of domestic partnerships, child custody, visitation, child and spousal support, paternity, abandonment, and adoptions. Our partners at Azemika & Azemika will put their expertise to work for you and make sure your case is customized to your needs. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.