People turn to divorce attorneys for guidance on reaching a divorce settlement. The advice I offer often deals with what NOT to do:
DATING DURING THE NEGOTIATION:
People are human. While it may not be in the best interest of the negotiation to date, it does happen. If you are dating, proceed with caution and heed the following advice:
Going to places where people you know might be seen you with your new love interest is probably not a good idea.
Do not post photos of you and your new love interest on social media. Make sure to alert your new love interest of this as well. The same goes for sharing photos by text.
Divorce is confusing for everybody involved. Even more so for the children. You may be happier now that you are with somebody new. That doesn't mean your children will be as well.
Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation can and usually does proceed faster than litigation, which can take between 18 months to several years. Yet expecting your divorce negotiation to conclude within two or three months is completely unrealistic. You can safely presume your collaborative divorce or divorce mediation will probably take between six months and a year.
MAKE UNILATERAL DECISIONS
his piece of advice mostly concerns couples with children, though it also has relevance to people who own property together. Simply put, don't make any big decisions without your spouse's knowledge.
If you're the custodial parent, don't change the children's school, doctors, daycare, etc. without consulting your spouse. Also, important decisions like putting your children in counseling should be done as a joint effort with your spouse.
Some other obvious-but-not-always-to-some things you should not do without consulting your spouse include: selling the family home; making large capital improvements (e.g. bathroom remodel); or make any large purchases (e.g. buying a jet ski, new furniture, etc.). These types of purchases and decisions have a bearing on financial statements and can certainly make for frostier negotiations.
No matter what your method divorce-collaborative divorce, divorce mediation or litigation-reaching a divorce agreement is never easy or simple and requires the focus of both parties. While these three things might seem like common sense, you would be amazed how often it can occur-with almost always negative repercussions.
Full article may be viewed at DomesticLaw.net
Susan Lillis a family law attorney who has been practicing family law for more than 25 years. Her specialties are mediation and collaborative divorce.