Whenever you tell people about your upcoming divorce, they always give you advice about what you should do. One friend tells you to try to get a postnuptial agreement first. Another tells you to make sure your spouse does not clean out the bank accounts. Another says that you should make sure you are together when you break the news to your children.
As helpful as advice can be, it’s also important to know what mistakes to avoid. To help you, here are seven things not to do:
1. Don’t fight your ex just for the sake of it
If you do, you’ll drag the process out. Don’t try to “get revenge” during the divorce. Try to move through the process smoothly and fairly.
2. Don’t make it all about yourself if you’re a parent
The kids are part of this, too, whether they like it or not. Take their feelings into account. Do everything you can to make it all easier for them.
3. Don’t reject the truth
You may not like hearing the truth if it does not line up with what you want, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the truth. When talking to your friends, family members and legal team, keep an open mind.
4. Don’t shut down all communication with your spouse
You have to communicate to get through this process. If you have children and you get shared custody, you also have to communicate for years to come. Don’t shut this down. Learn how to do it. For instance, use email or text messages if talking in person is emotionally difficult or leads to arguments.
5. Don’t talk about it online
It’s fine to talk with your friends about your divorce, but don’t use social media as a way to rant about your ex. Keep the personal details of the divorce off of the Internet, at least until the legal process is over.
6. Don’t make emotional decisions
Divorce may bring out your emotions, so you need to know when to take a step back and calm down. Feeling angry, depressed or hurt does not allow you to make rational decisions, which are critical at this time.
7. Don’t make assumptions or set expectations too high
Be realistic. Do not assume you’ll get everything you want or expect to get back at your ex in the divorce. The reality is that a fair compromise may leave you both feeling unhappy.
Know your rights
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you do have legal rights during a divorce. Make sure that you know what they are and what steps you can take.