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Top 10 Things NOT to Do When You Divorce


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The divorce process can be an especially emotional and helpless time. Don’t make these commonplace mistakes.

Anyone that has experienced a divorce can tell you, the process is hardly ever easy. Emotions run high, and couples usually make poor choices without thinking.

Given the abundance of financial, pragmatic, and emotional specifics that must be sorted out, it’s no surprise so many divorcing couples wind up making critical mistakes. Nevertheless, there are several things you need to do, or more specifically not to do, to minimize the possibility you’ll regret your decisions afterwards.

Here are the top 10 things to avoid when you file for divorce.

1. Do Not Get Pregnant

Having a baby throughout your divorce make a lot of things complicated and could even impede your right to divorce. In December 2005, a Marion County, Oregon. judge declined to allow Denise Silver, a pregnant woman, to get divorced from her abusive husband. Silver’s husband is not the father of the child. However, since Silver became pregnant amid the divorce proceedings, state law presumes Silver’ husband to be the father of the child born up to three hundred days following her divorce. The judge declined to grant Silver a divorce since he was concerned there wouldn’t be father to take financial responsibility for the child. Even though a lot of states now award single parents the same rights as married parents, having a child when you’re in marital limbo can be tricky.

2. Don’t Forget to Change Your Will

Getting a divorce does not systematically revoke a will. When you want to inhibit your soon to be ex from receiving the capital and rights granted them in your will, you should update the will. You can re-establish a will at any time. But if you pass away prior to you being given a divorce, and you are leaving your spouse zero, they could sue and recoup some of your estate.

3. Don’t Disregard the Possibility of a Collaborative Divorce or Mediation

In collaborative divorces, you can get the assistance from professionals—attorneys, divorce coaches and counselors, to divide property and deal with emotional stress. Many naysayers of collaborative divorce think that attorneys, divorce coaches and counselors that are involved in collaborative divorce are not really professionals and are costly and time consuming. But most jurisdictions with this type of divorce have recalled that collaborative divorces are more accommodating and less hostile than conventional divorces.

Mediation is different. Only one 3rd party professional—a divorce mediator—aids you and your spouse to come to an agreement. Mediation is more of a continual process than one single intervention. Even though lawyers are typically not allowed in mediation sessions, you can take counsel a lawyer at any time throughout the process for making sure you are getting the right outcome.

4. Don’t Sleep With Your Lawyer

It’s natural to get close to the only individual that is on your side. But it’s also a huge judgement in error. Many states forbid all sexual activity between a lawyer and their client. Other states allow a lawyer and their client that had a sexual relationship prior the case to continue their relationship. In any case, having sex with your lawyer can jeopardize your lawyer-client communications since you could be charged with adultery because of the infidelity.

5. Don’t Take It Out on Your Children

Children need a supportive setting when dealing with divorce. Lessen the amount you talk about the process. It is going to provide you with more time to be there for them. Refocus your energy so you can be present at their school and after-school activities, help them with their homework, and take them out every now and them to mini golf or the bowling. When you’re calm, they get calm. Though you should be at ease talking with your children concerning the divorce, the purpose of the divorce is to alleviate stress on you and your family.

6. Don’t Decline to See a Therapist

Seeing a therapist is able to help you get through the plethora of emotions that you are going to endure when dealing with your divorce. It is wise to get help prior to you becoming exceedingly depressed or angry. The therapist is not just a person to talk to. They are also a professional that can show you how to keep calm, how to talk to your children, and how to remain composed in court. Most significantly, the therapist can help you establish how to become self-reliant.

7. Don’t Wait Until After the Holidays

You already know the holidays aren’t going to be challenging. So why delay?

Divorce lawyers usually see an increase in clients prior, throughout, and following Christmas. It’s also easier to acclimate to an empty home prior to the holidays. When you wait (and fight) through the season, you might destroy any possibility for a cordial split and end up hashing over your differences in court.

8. Remember Taxes

Usually, the individual that is granted custody of the children gets the home. But the home may not be the ideal deal. When you are unable to afford the mortgage, taxes and maintenance on the home, you want to request for the investment portfolio of equivalent value in lieu. On the other hand, prior claiming yourself king or queen of the block, remember single individuals are unable to shelter as many capital gains through taxes. Stocks could also be an issue. Newly bought stocks might be more desirable since they are going to cost you less in capital gains taxes.

9. Don’t Settle Early On

Just because you are wanting out of your marriage sooner than later doesn’t mean you should give up your financial security. Make several copies of all of your important financial documentation: pension statements, tax documents, brokerage and mutual funds statements, statements from credit cards, etc. It is going to make you knowledgeable of what you own and possibly what you owe.

Be sure that you and the children are going to continue to have health insurance throughout and following the divorce process. When you are still married, an ailment or accident can change how property is split up.

When you and your spouse are able to work out a cordial agreement on your own, you can file what’s referred to as an “uncontested” divorce. This going to save you both time and money in court fees.

If this is simply impossible you may want to hire a professional mediator or a lawyer. If you choose to retain legal counsel, don’t forget to bring 3 items to the initial meeting with your lawyer so you can determine what you are going to need once separated: balance paperwork listing the family’s assets and debts, accounting paperwork of your income and expenditures, and your tax return.

10. Don’t Increase Your Debt

Divorce is costly. Aside from lawyer’s fees, you are going to need money to establish a new household. Though it may be challenging to get by, you need to get used to having less now. Don’t forget, your legal fees and court costs may come due prior to you receiving your first payment of spousal maintenance or even your portion of the marital property. Whereas it may appear stressful, the freedom you’ll enjoy down the road is going to be well worth the endeavor.

In Conclusion

Disregarding strong emotions for the sake of cooperating with your spouse and managing the problematic issues of your separation with a composed and clear head is going to definitely pay off in the end. Both of you are going to make wiser decisions and come out of the situation with fewer stings.


  1. Zimmer, J. (2020, December 2). Top 10 things not to do when you divorce. LegalZoom. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from

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