The path towards divorce can be strewn with pitfalls. It’s quite possible to make mistakes along the way that can have long-term consequences.
Divorce is not the sort of thing that you want to go into without preparation or planning. Start planning for your divorce the moment you make the decision. That includes separating your finances from your spouse’s, looking for a job if finances are going to be a worry, and budgeting for expenses as a single person.
However, don’t plan for so long that you end up procrastinating. All too often, matters get more complicated as time goes on. For instance, your spouse may take out a loan that you may jointly be responsible for. If you buy assets during the divorce, these will be considered common property, and you may have to split these during the divorce.
Don’t rush into a settlement. Mediation is not an alternative to divorce, and you do not have to feel like you have to settle, or give in, to keep the divorce as amicable as possible.
Be rational, and practical. Avoid making emotional decisions, and avoid making significant divorce-related decisions when you’re upset or depressed.
Avoid discussing your divorce with your family and friends. You’re likely to get a whole lot of advice that is unnecessary, simply does not apply, or is just plain bad.
Avoid childish behaviors. When you’re upset with your spouse, it’s natural to feel like you want to get back at him, but suppress those feelings. This is even more important when you have children. You will be required to maintain a cordial relationship with the father of your children.
Don’t let your divorce lawyer make the decisions for you. Be involved in the divorce process.
Consider the tax consequences of your divorce settlement. For instance, in Colorado, maintenance may be claimed when you’re filing your taxes, but child support may not be.
Don’t let debt build up while the divorce proceedings are going on. Make sure the bills are getting paid regularly, and decide who’s going to be responsible for paying the bills.
Make sure that all your joint accounts are closed before the divorce proceedings are complete. You may be responsible for any debts that are incurred by your spouse using your joint account if you have not bothered to close these accounts.
Don’t vent on Facebook about your divorce. Consider a therapist instead.