Mistakes You Should Avoid During Divorce
There are many mistakes you should avoid during a divorce. Knowledgeable divorce lawyers from The Carson Law Firm may help you avoid them. Call to find out.
Common Mistakes to Avoid While Your Divorce Case Is Pending
Divorce is a very challenging process for all the parties involved. If things go wrong, there’s a chance you could lose your home and custody of your minor children. The fear of such eventualities and perhaps the realization that such a meaningful relationship is ending may elicit intense emotions from the parties, including resentment, guilt, depression, and loneliness.
These feelings are normal for people in your position, especially when you’re unsure what the case’s outcome would be. Regardless, it is important to be mindful of your actions while your divorce is pending. Any step you take could adversely affect your case, how much you’ll get in spousal support payments, and other long-term repercussions.
Below we’ve highlighted some common divorce mistakes parties make in Missouri to help you avoid them and increase your chances of success in divorce court.
Not Seeking Legal Advice
The divorce process all over the US is governed by laws that vary across the states. These laws determine the contents of a divorce petition and make rules for the equitable division of assets, child custody, and other related issues. Failing to comply with the law anytime could prove costly, even when you ordinarily have a good case. So it is essential that you seek legal advice from attorneys experienced in family law and divorce matters. They can advise you effectively regarding your responsibilities and rights during the divorce process.
You may have a friend or family member who got divorced, and they might feel like they know everything about the process. If they are not attorneys, you cannot rely on their advice as their circumstances may be different from yours as far as the law is concerned.
Divorce is a serious issue, and without guidance from a skilled Divorce Lawyer, you’ll likely make mistakes that could cost you dearly. As such, it is important that you consult your attorney even before you begin the process to receive personalized legal advice that is tailored to your unique situation.
Failing to Disclose Vital Information
It is not enough to hire a divorce lawyer to represent you throughout the process. You need to be committed to the attorney-client relationship and disclose anything that could affect your case, even if the information shows you in a bad light. Full disclosure helps your attorney prepare adequately for your case and avoid surprises that your spouse or their attorney might want to spring.
You don’t need to worry about your personal information getting out. Legal professionals are bound by law and professional ethics to keep communications with their clients confidential. So, you can rest easy knowing that your private details will remain so.
Dating During the Divorce Process
Another common divorce mistake individuals make is to begin dating again before the divorce is finalized. Dating after filing for a divorce is not illegal, but it can complicate matters for you, so it is better to avoid dating until your divorce is finalized.
Your spouse may try to use your new relationship against you during the divorce process or while fighting for custody of your children. Also, it could anger your spouse and make communication between you more difficult. Your children might also be upset about having a new presence in their lives while trying to come to terms with the new family reality.
Hiding Marital Assets
Missouri is not a community property state where the parties’ marital assets are divided equally. Instead, Missouri law promotes fair and equitable property division between the parties.
Both parties in a divorce are required to disclose all marital assets without keeping anything back. The law prohibits you from hiding marital assets, and if you do so, you could lose part or all of the asset you tried to hide. You need to make full disclosure here and trust that the court, through the efforts of your attorney, will divide the relevant property appropriately.
Not Updating Your Will or Other Estate Planning Instruments
A will and other legal documents, such as a power of attorney or a trust, allow you to organize your estate and plan your future.
During your marriage, you may have mentioned your spouse as a beneficiary of your will. You may also have made them your legal representative, giving them the power to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. But once you begin the divorce process, it is in your interest to modify the necessary documents since your spouse will no longer be a part of your life.
If you made a will that benefits your spouse, you might not need to take any further steps to disinherit them. Under Missouri law, a divorce revokes any part of your will that could benefit your former spouse. But you may need to take steps to modify the terms of other estate planning instruments like a power of attorney or trust to exclude your spouse from their provisions. You can ask your attorney for help if you need further clarification on this.
Telling Lies in Court
Telling lies in court or on your court documents can get you in trouble. If you’re asked to testify during the divorce process, it is important that you state the facts as they are according to the instructions of your attorney. If caught trying to manipulate the facts, it could jeopardize your case. The judge would be less inclined to believe anything else you say even though it might be true.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Help
Having an attorney to represent you throughout the divorce process could be a game changer, especially if your divorce case is contentious. With the right legal advice from your attorney, you can conduct yourself appropriately and avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your case.
Your attorney would be responsible for preparing and filing your official court documents, so you don’t have to worry about understanding the proper legal terms or words used in a divorce case/petition or complying with the necessary legal requirements.
Going through a divorce is stressful, and getting a skilled attorney to handle the legal aspects of the process gives you one less thing to worry about. If you do not already have one, consider contacting a skilled divorce attorney near you to get the help you need and ensure your interests are adequately protected.
Still have questions about how to file your divorce in Missouri? Reach out to us at The Carson Law Firm. We can answer your questions and work to ensure that your divorce is as seamless as possible.
Contact us today, and let us support you through this difficult time.