Going through a divorce is uncharted territory for most men. Knowing what to do can be a challenge. Here are four big mistakes that husband and fathers commonly make. Avoid these pitfalls and you will start out ahead in the game.
1. The Quickie Divorce
Big divorce mistake number one is settling for the quickie divorce. A lot of men fall into this trap and it is easy to see why. The divorce process can be very uncomfortable. Dealing with the collapse of a marriage is difficult enough for most husbands. Dividing up property, setting up a visitation schedule for the children, and agreeing to spousal support are all likely very far down on most men’s to do lists. Many men decide it is simply easier to just agree to whatever the ex-wife wants and end things quickly. That’s the easiest solution, isn’t it?
The problem with a fast divorce is that it doesn’t provide long term solutions. For most couples, divorce comes after many years of marriage. Property division, child custody, and support payments are all complex issues. Settling quickly without taking time to properly resolve important matters will only lead to a quick return to court. Many issues need to be resolved for a future going forward. This allows both spouses to start fresh.
2. The Silent Treatment
Divorce is usually a highly emotionally charged time. Hurt feelings and short tempers are common. However, some men choose to deal with these issues through avoidance. The most common tactic is to stop answering the phone. The husband becomes extremely difficult to contact and refuses to talk with the wife about the divorce. Meetings can not be scheduled, issues cannot be resolved, and no substantive progress can be made in the divorce. The husband basically institutes the silent treatment.
While it may bring some momentary satisfaction to annoy and frustrate your spouse by not answering the phone, it will only cause the divorce process to take longer. Properly resolving a divorce requires that serious issues be discussed and resolved between the spouses. Especially when children are involved, parents need to make well thought out and beneficial choices about the future. Dodging phone calls and not returning messages only makes the hard part of the divorce last longer and can increase attorney fees.
3. Paperwork Procrastination
A divorce may not be as bad as an IRS audit, but it can run a close second when it comes to paperwork. Along with legal forms and motions, the court also requires that the assets of the both parties be fully documented. Completing paperwork and gathering documentation may seem like a huge task, a task better left until tomorrow.
Procrastinating on your paperwork is a bad choice and could lead to some serious consequences. The court requires certain information and documentation from you. Putting off gathering it makes if difficult for your attorneys to do their job and bring your case to a successful resolution. If the court decides that you have not submitted all necessary documentation about your income for calculating child support, it can impute your income. When this happens, you can usually expect to pay more child support.
The bottom line? Don’t put off getting your paperwork in order during your divorce. This will save time, help complete the divorce faster, control costs, and protect your interests.
4. Putting off Calling a Lawyer
The final big divorce mistake is waiting too long to speak with an attorney. It is normal to feel some sorrow and guilt at the end of a marriage. Many people hope things will get better and believe taking any action towards divorce will ensure the marriage ends.
Unfortunately, waiting leaves you unprepared when the divorce process starts. While you were holding back, your spouse had time to choose an attorney, prepare a case, and file a petition with the court. This leaves you struggling to find a lawyer and play catch-up.
When deciding how soon to call a lawyer, it is important to separate the emotional side of divorce from the legal side. Calling a divorce attorney does not mean you have given up on your marriage. It only means you are taking steps to protect yourself. Divorce is a legal process which resolves issues of property distribution, child custody, and support arising out of the dissolution of the marriage. It is far better to have an attorney explain your rights and responsibilities to you before the divorce starts than have to figure everything out after your spouse has served you with papers.
Want to avoid more divorce mistakes?
Divorce Lawyers For Men™ attorneys help husbands and fathers going through divorce. Meet in person with a Washington divorce lawyer who will be happy to explain the divorce process to you. Call us today at (877) 866-7393 to speak with divorce lawyers for men in Olympia, Washington who understand your situation and can offer real help.
If you would like more information on the divorce process, or to take the best divorce resources with you in print, please check out our free divorce guide for men or contact our office to meet with an attorney about your particular circumstances.
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