When you’ve made the decision to divorce (or had that decision made for you), you may look back on your decision to get married as a huge mistake. Maybe it was. But here you are now, facing the financial, emotional, practical, and legal challenges of ending your marriage and starting the next chapter of your life. As hard as the process can be, the last thing you want to do is make it even more difficult. Unfortunately, many people going through a divorce make poor choices or take ill-advised actions which do exactly that.
Divorce mistakes are common. Sometimes they are caused by a lack of information or confusion about the process and the right steps to take (one of the many reasons you should meet with a divorce lawyer as soon as possible). Other times, bad calls are caused by the intense emotions and impulses that can be dredged up during a split - anger, hurt, spite, or a desire for revenge.
The mistakes folks make in a Colorado divorce can have serious long-term implications on the critical issues in a divorce proceeding - custody, visitation, and property division, among others. Poor choices can cause a judge to make adverse decisions, and irrational behavior can add to the already high level of conflict and acrimony between the spouses, making it that much more difficult for the parties to reach a negotiated agreement about contested issues.
The following are four common mistakes that people can make during their divorce which can cause them serious problem during and after their divorce:
1. Using Social Media
If you want to post a cute cat video during your divorce, fine. If you want to post about how awful your spouse is or was, or if you post pictures or comments that could call into question your fitness as a parent or make you appear irresponsible, you will come to regret it. Everything you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or on any other social media platform could be introduced as evidence before the judge and can and will be used against you in court. If you are seeking custody, for example, and your wall is covered of pictures of you out partying every night, that simply will not help your cause to say the least. Also, your privacy settings won’t save you. Your spouse could potentially seek a court order directing you to provide access to things behind your privacy wall.
2. Dragging the kids into your fights
Most divorcing parents make every effort to minimize the impact and trauma the process can have on their kids. Some are more successful than others. When a parent sees their kids as a way to get leverage or hurt their spouse, it not only will make life harder for the kids, it will make life harder for the parent when it comes time for the judge to make decisions about custody, visitation, or support. If you continuously tell your kids how awful your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is and try to turn them against him or her, or if you disobey any court orders as to custody or visitation in order to get back at your spouse, that will all be held against you and could threaten your parental rights.
3. Ignoring Court Orders
Whether it is out of spite or for other reasons, disobeying a judge’s orders as to custody, visitation, or any other matter is rarely a good strategic move. There is a reason they are called “orders” and not “suggestions,” and judges don’t take kindly to their orders being disregarded. You ignore or fail to follow a divorce court order at your peril.
No one wants their divorce drag on and on, but even when all goes well and the parties can agree on most issues, the process can take a while. Sometimes, the desire for a quick resolution can lead one of the parties to make hasty decisions or concede issues without fully understanding the impact of doing so. Don’t rush into important decisions out of impatience. Take the time to discuss everything with your divorce attorney and process his or her advice. Give yourself time to think through the impact that your choices will have on your life beyond whether it will chop a few weeks off of the divorce process. Your divorce will end, but you will have to live with the choices you make forever.