There are some things that you simply shouldn’t do when you get a divorce. Some of the items on this list are common sense; some might be a bit less predictable. Either way, read on to get a good idea of how you can avoid making a critical mistake as you go through with your separation:

1. Don’t lie or hide information

If you find a bit of information that doesn’t exactly help your arguments, you might consider making it “disappear”. A divorce, however, isn’t the time to be playing hide and seek. Deleting emails, throwing out evidence and lying are all actions that are more likely to come back to bite you in the end, if they are discovered by the other side and the Courts.

2. Don’t steal or spend money

It can be tempting to unleash some of your pent up feelings by taking some money from your partner’s account and making some large purchases, but this kind of behaviour is very short-sighted and will likely get you in hot water yourself. Just because you still have access to your partner’s money doesn’t mean that this is a free license to show your displeasure through a shopping trip. There will be an accounting of funds and you will be responsible for all funds.

3. Don’t send nasty emails, texts or social media posts

Plenty of spontaneous emails, texts or posts come back to haunt the sender in the end. In the emotional grind of a divorce, you may feel the strong urge to vent, whether to your friends and family, or at your partner. Either way, these uncontrolled outbursts might end up in front of a judge and hurt your case. Think twice before hitting the “send” button and you’ll thank yourself later for it.

4. Don’t give in to strong emotions and escalate the situation

Getting in the last word or punctuating an argument with a snide remark might seem like a way to gain a bit of personal relief, but this won’t do more than escalate the situation. Making unreasonable demands will only make your partner more likely to be equally unreasonable. This snowball effect might quickly turn into a lengthy and expensive litigation battle, where a quicker and more amicable resolution would have been possible.

5. Don’t be verbally abusive (especially in front of others / kids)

When frustration or anger builds up, it often reveals itself through hurtful words vented to friends, family or your children. These words may come back to hurt you. For one, they could be overheard and used against you in court. Alternatively, they only serve to make you and others increasingly bitter and slows down your ability to heal emotionally. If your children are exposed

to these comments and recite them they may very well be used against you in an argument as to what is in the children’s best interest moving forward.

6. Don’t be manipulative with your children

Often, children are caught up in the middle of divorce. It can be tough for them, facing uncertainty and younger children may not even fully understand what is happening. You need to steer clear of trying to get your children to pick your side or using them to emotionally manipulate your partner. Make sure that decisions made throughout your divorce, and as part of the final divorce legal agreements, are done with your child or children’s best interests at heart.

7. Don’t settle early or take a bad compromise

The terms of your divorce will play a significant role in your future for years to come, both financially and emotionally. Don’t agree to terms that will put you at a disadvantage simply to end the process. Make sure that you work with a lawyer who can clearly assess your situation from an unbiased vantage point so that you don’t get the short end of the stick.

8. Don’t forget to change your will

Following the decision to divorce, it’s fair to say that your priorities will have changed. You should quickly schedule an appointment to update your will so that your final wishes are properly represented in case the unthinkable happens. There have been many instances where a person has passed away and left their possessions to the very person they were fighting bitterly against.

9. Don’t bring your new boyfriend / girlfriend to court

If you enter into another relationship while still involved with the litigation process of your separation, it is best to avoid flaunting that fact in front of your ex and the judge. It isn’t likely to earn you much compassion from the judge and will likely just cause tempers to flare up more easily.

10. Don’t be your own lawyer

Your divorce agreement may have significant financial and emotional repercussions. This isn’t the time to cut corners by choosing to represent yourself. Professional legal advisors have the skill and expertise to advise you on all the process and details so that your interests are protected. After all, one misstep might result in a lopsided alimony agreement or unfair visitation rights that keep you away from your children.

Mark Epstein

Mark Epstein is the founder of Epstein and Associates, a full-service law firm with offices in Newmarket, Richmond Hill and Barrie.  To learn more about Mark and his services click https://www.thedivorceangels.com/vendor/mark-epstein/

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