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What mistakes should you avoid during your divorce?

At its core, divorce is often painful at best. Not only do you need to come to grips with the fact that your marriage is over, but also decide how you will part ways as you move forward on your own.

But as you consider the past, you must also look to the future. Although you might wonder what your life will be like moving forward, you probably hope you can get through your divorce process relatively unscathed. In many cases, it could be helpful to remain aware of some potential mistakes you should try not to make.

Things you ought not do throughout your divorce process

As you and your soon-to-be ex work to determine your child custody arrangement, property division, and spousal maintenance, your emotions may run high. And as a parent, you might be wise to remember that your children are watching and listening; the way your kids handle situations in their lives is often learned through you.

However, during the most trying situations being aware of common mistakes people make during divorce can help you avoid making them yourself. As you navigate through your divorce process, do not:

  • Do not become apathetic – Being served with divorce papers can be a shock. However, if you do not have the strength to negotiate with your spouse, you may be wise to rely on counsel to defend your rights.
  • Do not use your children as pawns – Most psychologists agree that children need consistency, including continued relationships with both of their parents. Do not make threats of taking your children away from your spouse, as this will likely scare your children and increase the difficulty of your negotiations.
  • Do not engage in verbal abuse – You probably do not want to cause yourself additional regret by saying things you cannot take back. Also, be alert to the fact that your spouse could hold your threats against you, which could result in more time spent away from your children – possibly in jail.
  • Do not rub salt in your ex’s wounds – If you have filed for divorce, your relationship is likely already strained and both of you are probably hurting. Rather than regurgitating your partner’s shortcomings and the ways in which he or she caused your demise, allow yourself some flexibility to negotiate a settlement by focusing on what you need to do to draw your proceedings to a close.

Although it is easier said than done, try not to let your emotions control you. You may need to rely on the support of those around you to accept the changes you face during this time in your life. However, no matter the current situation between you and your spouse, remaining true to yourself can enable you to maintain your dignity and self-respect; despite everything else you are dealing with, you may find that is non-negotiable.