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10 Common Divorce Mistakes to Avoid

By Betty Wang, JD | Last updated on

The split after a marriage is painful enough in itself, but there are some common divorce mistakes that can make matters even worse.

While certain casualties of the split -- such as the loss of one's home, furniture, pets, or other divisible assets -- are often unavoidable, disputes over other, more long-term legal issues can be dodged.

So in order to prevent your divorce from being more painful than it needs to be, here are 10 common mistakes you'll want to avoid:

  1. Acting out of anger. Emotions may run high during this time, but acting on them may lead to regrettable actions that you can't take back. Remember that communicating and being cordial is key to get through this process as efficiently as possible.
  2. Not knowing about property division. Depending on whether or not your state is a community property state or not, your assets may not be divided up the way you'd think. Make sure you research this ahead of time or consult an attorney to.
  3. Invalid pre- or post-nuptial agreements. While you may rely heavily on your prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements, they can sometimes be invalid or even illegal. Make sure you double-check everything that's in the agreement before you attempt to enforce something that's not allowed.
  4. Not recognizing a "mourning period." Ultimately, a divorce is a great loss, and a mourning period is often necessary for you to move forward. Try to refrain from making any rash decisions during this period, or you may end up regretting them.
  5. Reckless social media posts. While it may be tempting to blast your ex's dirty laundry on social media or just to do some much-needed venting, think twice before you do. Some social media mistakes can't be erased, and can even be used against you in court.
  6. Misunderstandings with the other spouse. If you and your soon-to-be ex are still communicating, you'll likely be able to agree on many issues in your divorce. But because divorce can be difficult, miscommunications and misunderstandings are common. You may want to consider going to a mediator or using a mutual, neutral friend.
  7. Forgetting that children always come first. Don't forget that your little ones are also affected by your divorce. This includes taking care of things like child support and ensuring that you are financially stable enough to afford paying it. It also includes making sure children understand what's going on, and that both parents still love them.
  8. Trying to avoid paying alimony. While not as severe as child support, spousal support may often still be forced upon you if you conveniently decide to forget to pay it.
  9. Failing to lawyer up. Are all these concerns flying right over your head? Divorce, legally, unfortunately is no simple matter and there are often some necessary steps that can require an attorney's guidance to make sure things pan out smoothly.
  10. Forgetting to focus on yourself. As sad as a divorce may be, remember that upon making the decision, you both agreed it was the right one. Focus on all the new, positive changes that your life is about to incur from making this necessary change.

To learn more about what you should do during a divorce, check out FindLaw's comprehensive section on Divorce and talk to an attorney in your area. 

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