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Consult a Skilled Florida Lawyer to Avoid These Divorce Mistakes

When marital bliss morphs into prolonged marital strife, divorce often follows. On par with a death in the family, tax audits, and moving, divorce can be one of the most stressful and difficult times of a person’s life. Few people are ever prepared for divorce, and emotions can cloud rational thinking. This can make divorcing spouses prone to making mistakes before and during the process, impacting outcomes and their long-term future.

With extensive experience in Florida divorce law, the lawyers at Tallahassee-based Cowhey + Ward Attorneys at Law are highly skilled at navigating their clients toward a fair and positive outcome. And while every divorce is different, the mistakes spouses tend to make during the process are similar, especially when they have failed to consult with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer. Let’s review some of the most common divorce mistakes.

Failing to Control Emotions

Divorce inevitably gives rise to negative emotions that can cloud judgment, leading to actions that may impact the divorce outcome. In short, making decisions and taking steps under the influence of emotional thinking causes many common mistakes people make when going through a divorce.

Emotions frequently come into play relating to childcare, and subsequent emotionally driven actions can negatively impact child custody decisions made by the divorce court. A divorce judge will not look favorably on a parent who pressures their children to take sides in the divorce or one who makes a concerted effort to make their children lose respect for the other parent. Judges will also not abide a parent who interferes with their spouse’s temporary custody or visitation rights.

Emotions can also prove so overwhelming that they limit a spouse’s ability to effectively address many of the tasks that must be taken to move the process forward. This can cause a spouse to:

  • Hurry through the process.
  • Fail to adequately conduct financial inventory of the marital home.
  • Neglect budgeting to determine future financial needs.
  • Fail to gather detailed information on children needed for child custody decisions.
  • Agree to unfavorable financial settlements and asset dispositions.
  • Ignore potential tax consequences of financial decisions.

An effective divorce lawyer can help you keep emotions in check. This is so that you can make rational decisions that lead to the best divorce outcomes.

Not Being Financially Prepared

Due to emotional stress or a general lack of financial organization, many people undergoing divorce fail to adequately organize important financial information and prepare for the impending change in family finances. If a spouse doesn’t have a bank account and relies on a joint account for their finances, opening a separate bank account becomes imperative for controlling their assets going forward.

Additionally, to the extent possible, a divorcing spouse should try to get a hold of all documentation that details the family’s assets and liabilities. While failing to secure such information isn’t a mistake per se, having a complete financial picture in advance of the divorce procedure helps ensure a fair division of property from the get-go. Along with documents, a divorcing spouse should take photos of the couple’s personal property.

Mismanaging Assets as a Pre-Divorce Strategy

Some spouses facing divorce mismanage assets as part of a pre-divorce strategy to maximize what they’ll get out of it. This might involve trying to move or hide assets to put them out of reach of the spouse. It may also involve needlessly spending money so that the spouse won’t be able to enjoy it. During proceedings, some people deliberately underreport income and fail to disclose all assets. When the court uncovers these transgressions, it penalizes the spouse with subsequent support, alimony, and property distribution orders.

While mismanaging money as part of a divorce strategy is often financially driven, emotions can also be a driver. For example, an angry spouse might take a financial-related action based on spite. Conversely, someone feeling remorse might not account for their own best interests and make pre-divorce financial decisions that help the other spouse.

Other Common Mistakes

While many of the mistakes people make during a divorce are emotionally driven, some arise from misunderstanding or just not knowing any better. Some other mistakes people make that can negatively impact the outcome of divorce include:

  • Failing to follow court orders
  • Underestimating how long the divorce will take
  • Talking about the divorce with their spouse or their family and friends
  • Signing agreements without a legal review
  • Having unrealistic expectations about the outcome

Avoid Mistakes with a Skilled Tallahassee Divorce Lawyer

To err is human, but anyone undergoing a divorce can mitigate potential mistakes and ensure the most favorable outcome by securing the services of a skilled divorce lawyer. Cowhey + Ward’s Adam Cowhey has extensive experience helping his Tallahassee area clients navigate complex divorce agreements to secure favorable outcomes through negotiations or in divorce court. To learn how Cowhey + Ward can help you strategize the best outcome for your divorce, contact our Tallahassee-based office today at (850) 222-1000.

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