20 March 2013 0 Comments

Common mistakes to avoid in divorce proceedings

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Certain steps to take to avoid common mistakes in a divorce proceedings;
  1. Signing a legal agreement without understanding it completely, discussing it with a trusted friend, getting professional legal counsel, and carefully thinking it through.
  2. Letting emotions—guilt, loneliness, embarrassment, fear affect your decision making process.
  3. Confiding too much and to the wrong people.
  4. Not knowing about or not including all assets and all debts of the marital partnership.
  5. Moving out of your family home or leaving your children in your spouse’s custody temporarily when your objective is to remain in the family home or to be the custodial parent.  Any temporary arrangement usually serves as the blueprint for the divorce settlement and has a big impact on your case.
  6. Continuing divorce negotiations when it is no longer productive, financially or emotionally worthwhile to do so.  If you can’t find a reasonable way over or around it, litigate and let a judge knock it down.
  7. Initiating a divorce but then reconciling or living separate for a while and leaving your divorce action dangling.  This enables your spouse to go to court for a final divorce judgment without even telling you.  If you file for divorce but decide not to move forward with it for a while or indefinitely, you should request a dismissal of your case.
  8. Not giving your lawyer everything he/she needs to understand your grounds to build and defend your case. Clearly and completely defining all of the reasons that led you to divorce and withholding crucial information about your spouse’s misconduct to avoid their wrath, embarrassment, or despair is not helpful to your proceeding.  You are not responsible for your spouse’s feelings.  You should be more concerned with giving your attorney the information they need to establish the theory of your case.
  9. Settling for less child support than you need and to which you are entitled.  This is usually the result of failing to pin down your spouse’s actual gross income or deciding to opt out of the standard child support formula in a misguided or misinformed attempt to act fair, or both.  It is important to remember that income is not just earnings and wages, it also includes interest and dividend income, benefits (such as worker’s compensation, disability, Social Security, and veterans, but not public, assistance benefits), pensions, fellowships, and annuity payments.  It may also include one-time payments, such as lottery winnings, life insurance policies, gifts, and inheritances.
  10. Believing what’s theirs isn’t yours.  If you owned 50 percent of a business, you wouldn’t expect to receive a smaller share of the profits simply because you kept things running smoothly “behind the scenes” while your partner was out drumming up new business.  Marriage is an economic partnership, and as such, you are entitled to your fair share of all its assets—including your spouse’s new degree or successful business.
  11. Failing to ensure support.  If you are granted child and/or spousal support, make sure to protect yourself against your spouse’s potential inability to pay by insisting that they take out life and/or disability insurance with you as the beneficiary.  That is your only assurance of continued financial support in the event of your ex’s death or disabling illness or injury.
  12. Disregarding court orders.  It’s not wise to defy the judge.  The penalties can be harsh: If you need more time to prepare for a hearing or provide evidence, have your lawyer ask the court for a reasonable extension in writing—then follow through.

Divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences any of us will ever have to endure. There are a number of legal issues that need to be considered and the outcome of your divorce will have a direct impact on your life for many years. It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands family law and will fight to protect your interests.

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