Top 10 Divorce Mistakes
Learn from Massachusetts Divorce Lawyers
Many husbands and wives feel as if they can handle divorce court on their own, but most need expert legal and financial advice. With nearly 100 years of combined legal experience, and having worked on numerous divorce cases, the Massachusetts divorce attorneys at Miller Law Group, P.C. have witnessed some of the biggest mistakes both men and women make as they divorce.
The Most Common Mistakes
- Not telling your attorney everything. If you don’t tell your divorce lawyer the entire story of your marriage - even the darkest secrets, he or she will find out about it from opposing counsel. Why lose credibility with your strongest ally?
- Truly believing you can have a friendly divorce. This often results in not committing each of the issues in your agreement to writing. Without firm language in your separation agreement, what’s bound to happen is blurred boundaries will surface, you will eventually feel taken advantage of and your lack of a definitive agreement will lead to problems and confusion.
- Fighting for custody without understanding what that really means. Some spouses think that winning custody of their children is like winning a trophy during a divorce, but nothing can be further from the truth. Judges tend to think in terms of parenting plans, in which each parent can have some level of involvement in his or her children’s lives.
- Failing to recognize a common enemy: the Internal Revenue Service. You need to work with accountants and financial planners to minimize the total taxes that you and your spouse will have to pay. And if there are problems with tax returns from prior years, don’t rely on the innocent spouse rule. It’s more likely that both of you will be liable for any taxes due as a result of an audit.
- Not taking custody and parenting matters seriously. The most common reasons courts change custody are when one parent blocks access or parenting time, attempts to alienate a child’s affections for the other parent or changes employment to a more demanding work schedule, potentially compromising the amount of time and attention needed to parent properly.
- Not doing a cost-benefit analysis with regards to legal fees. This should be done when deciding what’s worth fighting for while going through a divorce. Spending two hours with lawyers to decide who gets $100 worth of groceries makes no sense.
- Forgetting that emails, text messages, and records can be tracked and used against you. It’s hard to claim you never left home when your transponder records show that you have been driving all over the state and there are photos on your Facebook page.
- Believing your friends are the only people who can see your Facebook page and other posts on social media. You have no idea how many divorce cases have been put into jeopardy when the judge sees evidence that includes your pictures posted with “friends” acting inappropriately, or when you are trying to show the court that you have become clean and sober and can handle unsupervised visits with your children only to have the court see pictures of you partying all night with friends. Regardless of your security and privacy settings on social media account, other people may be able to access and or share your photos and posts.
- Not being respectful of your soon-to-be former spouse. If you care about your children, find a way to get along with their parent.
- Not taking the time to gather complete financial information. You cannot divide your property fairly if you don’t know what exists. You can’t get a fair amount of child support or alimony unless you truly know how much your spouse is earning.