5 Mistakes People Make During Divorce (and How to Avoid Them)

Divorce is a challenging journey that affects thousands of families each year. Recent statistics have shown that Utah sees about 10,000 divorces annually.

At Brown Family Law, we understand the hurdles you may find yourself facing as you go through a divorce. We know how emotional difficulty can cause well-meaning couples to make mistakes during a divorce, which could affect them and their children in the long run.

In this blog post, we will explore some common divorce mistakes people make and how you can steer clear of these.

Common Divorce Mistakes to Avoid

Your children and your future needs must be considered during a divorce. In order to protect your family’s best interests, it’s vital to avoid the common mistakes outlined below.

1. Rushing Through the Divorce Process

When you’re in the midst of a painful separation, it’s natural to want the divorce process to end as quickly as possible. However, racing through the process can lead to regrets down the road. Taking the time to make informed decisions can save you from future issues and ensure a fair settlement.

Motivations behind hasty divorces

Understanding why people rush through a divorce case can help you avoid this pitfall.

Common reasons include:

  • Emotional exhaustion from prolonged conflict
  • Intense desire to start a new life quickly
  • External pressure from soon-to-be ex-spouse or family members

Consequences of a rushed divorce

While the emotional load of an ending marriage is understandable, a hurried divorce is not ideal. When couples rush through the divorce process, they may:

  • Overlook crucial marital assets or debts in the property division
  • Agree to unfair terms just to finalize the process
  • Fail to consider long-term financial and emotional impacts

2. Neglecting Children’s Well-Being

Divorce is hard on everyone but can be especially tough on children. Prioritizing your children’s well-being is crucial for their emotional and psychological health.

Parental behaviors that affect children during divorce

In the heat of conflict, some parents lose sight of what’s truly important – the children.

Examples of parental mistakes in divorce include:

  • Becoming overly focused on “winning” against the ex-spouse
  • Using children as leverage in negotiations or emotional warfare
  • Letting anger overshadow children’s needs and emotions

How to successfully co-parent during divorce

Co-parenting after divorce can present significant challenges, but it’s essential for the well-being of your children.

Here are key strategies to navigate this phase successfully:

  • Communication: Maintain open and respectful communication with your ex-spouse about parenting decisions. Use tools like shared calendars or co-parenting apps to stay organized and minimize misunderstandings.
  • Consistency: Aim for consistency in parenting styles and rules across households. Children thrive on routine, so try to establish similar schedules for meals, bedtime, and activities.
  • Flexibility: Be willing to be flexible and accommodate changes in schedules or routines when necessary. Cooperation and compromise go a long way in reducing conflict and promoting harmony for your children.
  • Respect boundaries: Respect each other’s boundaries and personal lives. Avoid discussing adult issues or conflicts in front of the children, and encourage a positive relationship between your children and your ex-spouse.
  • Seek support: Lean on support networks, such as friends, family, or support groups, to navigate the emotional and practical challenges of co-parenting.

By prioritizing your children’s well-being and maintaining a cooperative co-parenting relationship, you can help your kids adjust to post-divorce life with stability and security. Remember that consistency, communication, and mutual respect are key to successful co-parenting.

3. Neglecting to Plan for the Future

Divorce marks the end of a chapter in life, but it’s also the beginning of a new one. Some divorcing individuals get so focused on the immediate process that they forget to consider the future, but don’t let yourself fall into this trap.

Take time to envision your life after divorce and plan accordingly. A divorce attorney can help you plan for your family’s future and address post-divorce matters such as those outlined below.

Financial planning

Effective financial planning involves several steps. Divorcing couples should consider the following steps individually:

  1. Create a realistic post-divorce budget
  2. Think about your long-term earning potential and career goals
  3. Consider how to rebuild your retirement savings if they have been impacted
  4. Explore options for health insurance coverage
  5. Understand the tax consequences of your divorce settlement

Lifestyle adjustments

Planning for lifestyle changes is also crucial. For instance, you might ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where will you live?
  • Will you need to downsize or relocate to a new city?
  • How will your social life change?
  • What new skills or education might you need?
  • How will you balance work and family responsibilities as a single parent?

Legal and practical matters

During a divorce, be sure to address these important legal and practical matters:

  • Update your will and beneficiary designations
  • Review and adjust insurance policies
  • Plan for future childcare needs as kids grow older
  • Consider the impact on any business interests you may have

By thinking ahead, you will have more assets and be better prepared to negotiate a settlement with a divorce lawyer. Don’t hesitate to consult a divorce attorney who can help you map out your post-divorce life.

4. Letting Emotions Drive Decision-Making

Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s easy to let anger, hurt, or fear cloud and affect your judgment when making important decisions. However, allowing emotions to drive your decisions can lead to divorce mistakes that may affect your future negatively.

Why people make this mistake

Several emotional factors can influence one spouse’s decision-making during divorce:

  • Desire to “win” against an ex
  • Fear of the unknown future
  • Guilt over the marriage ending
  • Depression or anxiety clouding judgment

How to avoid emotional decision-making

Acknowledge your emotions, but don’t let them steer the ship.

Try these strategies to help you keep a clear head during the divorce process:

  • Seek therapy or counseling to process your feelings
  • Talk to a trusted friend or family member
  • Focus on your long-term goals rather than short-term satisfaction
  • Keep a journal to process your thoughts and emotions
  • Consider mediation to resolve disputes in a less adversarial manner

Making level-headed decisions now will set you up for a brighter future. It’s okay to feel angry or hurt, but you should avoid letting those emotions dictate your choices in a way you will regret later.

5. Trying to Handle Everything Alone

Many people attempt to navigate divorce without professional help – for several reasons. For instance, some may do this because they want to save money or due to believing the case will be simple enough to handle alone. However, the complexity of divorce can make it challenging to manage without support.

Why Seek Help During Divorce

The right help during divorce can provide you with emotional support, legal guidance, and practical assistance.

Getting professional help can:

  • Ensure that your rights are protected
  • Help you navigate the complexities of the divorce system
  • Provide you with strategies to cope with emotional stress

Consider assembling a divorce “team” or support group that might include:

  • A divorce attorney to protect your legal rights
  • A financial advisor to help with budgeting and long-term planning
  • A mental health professional for emotional support
  • A mediator to help resolve disputes outside of court
  • A child specialist if you have concerns about your children’s well-being
  • A real estate agent if you need to sell or purchase a marital home

While professional help can be costly, it often pays off by preventing expensive mistakes. Many professionals offer low-cost or divorce consultations, allowing you to explore options without pressure. Investing in support now can provide peace of mind and better outcomes for the future.

Contact a Utah Family Attorney Today

Whether you’re just beginning to consider divorce or already in the thick of the process, it’s never too late to seek guidance. At Brown Family Law, we are dedicated to helping Utah families find their way through marriage and divorce with both dignity and hope.

Our team understands the unique challenges you’re facing, and we are here to provide the support and experience you need to make informed decisions about your future. Reach out to Brown Family Law today and let us help you take the first steps towards your new beginning.

Together, we can work towards a resolution that honors your past while opening doors to new opportunities. Your journey to a brighter future starts with one party, with a single step – we’re here to walk that path with you.

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