16 Tips Of What Not to Do During Your Divorce

Your attorney will inform you about a variety of things you need to do during your divorce, such as gathering documents, tracking child visitation, and preparing for court appearances. However, there is also a long list of things you should not do during your divorce.

  1. Don’t get legal advice from anyone other than your divorce attorney. While it may be tempting to talk with friends, family, business acquaintances as well as attorneys you use for other matters, it is best for your own sanity, as well as for your own privacy and legal outcomes that you only talk to your divorce attorney about your case. They are the ones who have all the facts, understand the laws in your state, and can offer you professional, reliable advice. Above all else, never talk to your spouse or your spouse’s attorney about your case.
  2. Don’t post on social media. It might seem like it would be acceptable to post innocuous things such as pet photos or sunsets, but anything you post could possibly be used against you in your case. Any information, photos, or even memes or simply liking other posts can be used as ammunition against you about custody, property division, alimony, and more.
  3. Don’t lie to your attorney. Your attorney has to know everything involved in your divorce, even things you are embarrassed or ashamed about. Do not hold back any information. Your attorney is not there to judge you, but to help you get the best possible outcome. They can only do that if they know everything there is to know, and this includes addiction, infidelity, illegal business deals, and more.
  4. Don’t try to cheat the process. Some people think they can hide money, move money, conceal assets, or sell assets and no one will notice. Everything can be traced. Don’t think that you can avoid detection. Preserve your assets and be honest about what you own.
  5. Don’t go into more debt. This is not the time to take out a loan or a mortgage. Not only will this complicate your financial settlement or award, but it will be a financial concern at a time when you suddenly have many more expenses, such as attorneys, accountants, therapists, child custody evaluators, and forensic experts.
  6. Don’t harass, stalk or retaliate against your spouse. This is a time when emotions run high, and it is easy to get carried away. However, it’s best to be as hands off as possible with your spouse. Stay away from them. Don’t try to find out what they are doing. Don’t do things to hurt, upset, or annoy them. Those kinds of actions will complicate your case and may result in restraining orders.
  7. Don’t violate court orders. In most states, the court will issue a mandatory injunction at the start of the case, which tells both parties not to do certain things, such as buy or sell assets. Have your attorney explain to you exactly what the court order says so that you can follow it to the letter.
  8. Don’t skip mediation, counseling, or evaluations. If the court orders you to go to mediation, to get a mental health or addiction evaluation, to meet with a custody evaluator, to see a counselor, or to do anything else, it is important that you do so. When the court orders them, they are mandatory.
  9. Don’t ignore temporary orders. If you have children or spousal support is required, the court may issue temporary orders of custody, child support, and/or spousal support. These are not suggestions. They are legally required items. You must abide by the visitation schedule and make the payments as required.
  10. Don’t use children as go-betweens or as a way to get revenge. Try to keep your children completely separate from the divorce. Involving them is damaging and will only hurt your custody case.
  11. Don’t skip visitation. If you do not live with your children and are given temporary visitation, it is crucial you use every single minute of visitation time you have been given if you hope to maximize the amount of time you will be given in your final parenting plan.
  12. Don’t try to ignore your divorce. You must be engaged, informed, and involved in the entire process. Talk with your attorney. Ask questions. Stay on top of what is happening, what is expected of you, and where you are in the process. Don’t assume the process can move forward without your direct involvement.
  13. Don’t assume your memory is perfect. Precision matters in a divorce when it comes to dates, amounts, locations, and sometimes even words. Never rely on your memory for these items. Locate the documents needed. Take notes. Check your calendar. Make sure all the information you provide is completely accurate.
  14. Don’t ask for everything. Divorce is definitely a negotiation, but if you start the process by asking for absolutely everything, the process is going to be immensely time-consuming and expensive. Talk with your attorney about what is reasonable.
  15. Don’t refuse to compromise. You won’t get everything you want and it does not make sense to spend massive amounts on legal fees to fight for things you will not get. You will need to evaluate the options and make calculated compromises. Your attorney can help you weigh the alternatives and make reasonable decisions.
  16. Don’t ignore your attorney. Take their calls. Get them the documents they need. Pay their bills on time. Your relationship with your attorney is key to your success in the divorce, so make it a priority.


Naomi Schanfield

Naomi Schanfield concentrates on all aspects of matrimonial and family law, including, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, divorce, equitable distribution, child custody and visitation, support matters, family offense disputes, and domestic violence.

To connect with Naomi: 212.682.6222 | Online

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