Divorce Mistakes – Part 1

Frequently Asked QuestionsInsight

Divorce is life-altering event.  It does not matter who you are or whether you wanted out of the marriage or not.  Divorce changes your life.  I have experienced a lot of divorces in the nearly 23 years I have been in practice as a divorce lawyer.  In this three-part blog series, I am diving into three common mistakes people make in the legal process to dissolve a marriage.

Mistake #1:  Making agreements just to avoid feeling uncomfortable.

No one likes to be uncomfortable, in conflict or stressed.  Unfortunately, discomfort and stress are often felt by those going through a divorce.  Moreover, conflicts of varying degrees routinely rise in a divorce.  People argue over how to divide household furnishings, who must move out of a shared home and parenting arrangements for children.  There is also internal conflict as a person grapples with intense emotions like regret, guilt, or doubt. 

The emotions and conflict present in divorce can be very hard to tolerate.  It is normal to want to avoid unpleasant feelings.  But, in a divorce situation, the desire to put a halt to conflict and misery must not be acted on in haste.  People going through a divorce are faced with many decisions and many of these decisions have lifetime implications.  Feeling overwhelmed by discomfort or stress is not a good place to be when making decisions.  Judgment is clouded and rational perspective is out the window. 

Do not make a big decision when plagued with emotions.  Do not agree to a settlement offer in your divorce just because you want the divorce to be over.  Although there can be value to your emotional state by ending conflict, do not short-change your well-being by a reluctant “yes.” Be thoughtful and give your mind space to process emotions before making decisions or reaching agreements.  If you need help, ask for it!  Rely on trusted advisors like your attorney, accountant, or therapist for direction.  Above all, think about yourself in the present moment and where you want to be in the future.

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