Divorce can be tough for many people, often because at least one person in the relationship didn’t see it coming. People expect their marriages to last forever—when it doesn’t, this disappointment can often manifest in aggression, spite, or anger. It is also easy to take out these negative emotions on your spouse, whether or not they actually deserve it. Because divorces are so fraught with passionate reactions, people can also often make mistakes during the process, especially if this is the first divorce they’ve experienced. We’ve collected a list of the biggest mistakes to make during the process so you can avoid them if you’re heading to divorce court.
Being in It to Win It
There is no winner or loser in a divorce. This legal process is merely a way for two people to begin separating their lives. However, some people will refuse to compromise out of spite or an inability to agree with their spouse on anything. The more you disagree or make things harder on your spouse, the more you make it harder on yourself. Divorces can last for months when two people can’t agree on a compromise. Those who can’t agree often need to go to court over every aspect of the divorce rather than sitting down with a mediator or a negotiator. While some things are understandably hard to agree on, such as child custody, other things are less important.
Dragging Your Kids into It
Your children are going to be going through the divorce as well, which can be extremely traumatizing for a child. However, what will make it worse for them is being used as a pawn in a game between you and your spouse. Children shouldn’t be forced to take sides during a divorce, even if you’re angry at your spouse. They also shouldn’t be used as a method to communicate with your spouse when you don’t want to talk directly to him or her. You and your spouse are the adults in the situation, so it’s your responsibility to act accordingly. The best thing you can do for your children during a divorce is to remind them how much you love them and that the divorce wasn’t their fault.
Trash Talking Your Spouse
While it may feel great to rip into how horrible your spouse is during a divorce, it’s never a good idea. The temporary relief it brings now won’t help you later if you’re speaking in front of your kids. Children can often repeat what they hear, and what you say could end up traveling back to your spouse, your spouse’s family, or your spouse’s attorney. If the negative things you say get back to your partner’s lawyer, he or she will use it in court against you if you’re going through child custody proceedings. Even if you’re just venting, your words will be used to demonstrate your lack of self-control, anger issues, and irresponsibility. It can be even easier when you post your diatribe online. Social media has made it very easy to vent to your friends and family, but it makes your thoughts and feelings accessible to anyone—even friends of friends.
Jumping into a New Relationship
Although divorce is stressful and isolating, you shouldn’t jump back into a new relationship immediately. This advice is especially true if the divorce is still ongoing. Not only can it compromise the solidity of your new relationship, but people are often unprepared to date seriously for a while after the divorce ends. The longer a marriage was, the longer a person should take to reorient themselves. Many people want to reenter some kind of relationship because they miss the feeling of being part of a couple. However, this can often lead them to make poor decisions regarding their new dates. You might be more likely to lower your standards. Even if your new love interest is an absolutely lovely person, you might not be able to give them the affection and care they deserve. People just coming out of a divorce are often experiencing emotional upheaval that requires time to heal. Before you enter into a new, long-term relationship, make sure you’re ready for it.
If you’re getting divorced, make sure you have someone there who can best represent your interests. Talk to one of our Des Moines divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Mark R. Hinshaw. Our attorneys are proud to provide honest and reliable legal counsel to people throughout the Greater Des Moines area. We have more than 10 years of experience handling all types of family law, including divorce, child custody, and property division. Contact us at (515) 200-7571 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation. Let us help you through this difficult time.