Filing for divorce can be a tough decision. Or maybe you’re ready to be separated from your spouse. This time often brings a mix of emotions that can influence both you and your children’s lives. While part of you may feel like celebrating, another part may be angry, lonely, and hurt beyond measure. It’s ok to feel a wide range of emotions while going through your divorce.
It’s important to remember that while divorce can be a difficult transition, there are a few things to avoid doing during this process. While the separation is taking place, keep in mind these five things to definitely not do when you file for divorce!
Take It Out on the Kids
If you have children, it’s crucial that you don’t take your emotions out on your kids. While your children should absolutely know that you and your spouse are separating, they should not be involved in the divorce process. It’s a good idea to practice the following actions when it comes to your children and divorce:
- Keep conversation about the divorce specifics to a minimum. Your children don’t need to know all the details about you and your spouse’s separation. Discussing the divorce with them in any way that doesn’t pertain to their emotions or care can be distressing to your kids.
- Refrain from making negative comments about your former spouse. This can feel especially hard, but it’s so important. No matter what happened between you and your ex, he or she is still your child’s parent. Do your best to only say positive things about your spouse in front of the kids.
- Encourage them to talk. Children need a safe space to express their feelings. Let them know they can talk to you about what they’re experiencing, but don’t engage in negative talk about your ex in the process. Be supportive of your children during this time!
It’s often said that children are more affected by the way a divorce is handled than the actual divorce itself. You can help your kids cope with the divorce without taking your emotions out on them when your ex isn’t around.
Hide Things from Your Lawyer
Your attorney is on your side. Hiding things from him or her will only serve to hurt you in the end. Lying about finances or destroying evidence is not only going to blindside your lawyer in court, it’s also going to look bad for you when this material is revealed.
Be honest with your lawyer throughout the entire divorce process. Your lawyer can’t help you if he or she doesn’t know the facts. The better prepared your attorney is with details, the more prepared he or she will be in court when faced with opposing information.
Hiding things from your attorney is never a good idea, but in a divorce, this information could impact you and your children’s lives when uncovered.
Be Mean to Your Ex
You and your ex may have separated amicably. You may have divorced due to a devastating affair. Or maybe some other information came to light about your ex that you’d rather not tell people. Maybe your ex made you feel like a fool and you want to get revenge.
No matter how your ex made you feel, it never pays to be mean to your former spouse. This is especially true if you have children—children need to feel like both parents will be stable, secure figures in their lives. When Mommy is constantly talking bad about Daddy, it can make your son or daughter feel guilty for still loving the other parent and wanting to spend time with them.
Being cruel to your ex on social media or posting revenge pictures will only hurt you when this is all over. It can also make you feel regretful or ashamed later on. Regardless of what happened between you, being courteous and not criticizing your ex will always make you feel like the bigger person during and after your divorce.
Spend Large Amounts of Money
Your financial situation is about to change! Making large purchases or spending money that you think your former spouse will end up paying is never a good idea. Even if you think you’ll be receiving child support, don’t count on this money.
Avoid getting in debt during the divorce, whether in your name or your former spouse’s name. This is a time to be conservative with your money because you can’t be sure of what will happen in the future. While you may be getting compensation from the divorce, you may also still need to find a new place to live and pay bills. If you aren’t sure where this money will be coming from, it’s wise not to spend money you don’t have just yet.
Your tax situation will also be changing, so prepare for this by talking to your accountant or CPA.
Get Pregnant or Start Dating
Perhaps you already have a new significant other, or maybe this isn’t even close to being on your mind. Nevertheless, it’s best to avoid bringing your new partner to legal appointments, court sessions, or even around your children until the divorce is settled.
Conceiving a child during this time can also complicate the divorce process. Pregnancy can slow down divorces, and in rare cases divorce may not be granted. Wait until things settle down and the divorce is official before considering having a child.
Divorce is undoubtedly a tricky time. As you work on all the things you need to do during this time, avoid these five things. These actions can increase stress and have an impact on your family and loved ones. Remember to keep finances in check and avoid bringing a new partner into the picture just yet! By being honest with your lawyer, nice to your ex, and supportive of your children, you can help the divorce go more smoothly for everyone involved.